Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

12 Ways to Make Friends

I was really sad to read that so many Beyond Blue readers don’t have four friends whom they could ask to compile lists of positive qualities in order to start a self-esteem file. It seemed that almost one-fourth of the comments on the message board of my “Video: My Self-Esteem file” pointed to the sad reality that many people are without a large group of friends.

Although I have experienced almost every other symptom of depression, I have been able to, for the most part, escape loneliness–except for those months when I couldn’t describe my thoughts and feelings to anyone because they were so ugly.


I think that I have been blessed with so many good friends throughout my life not because I’m so popular, but because I’m really nosy and I lack many of those social graces and proper boundaries that a polite person has.

In the first five minutes of meeting someone, I usually cover my entire psychiatric history. That can be good and bad. It works those afternoons like yesterday when a mom approached me and said, “you look so calm with your children,” and I laughed out loud and said, “I don’t think so, I’m just heavily medicated.” We talked for another hour and covered what meds we were taking, our dosages, what doctors we see, what psych wards we had visited, how long our menstrual cycles last, and what we tell other people with regard to our mood disorders: me … everything, her … nothing.


A success!

But my no-edit feature can also have me eating my shoes fairly often with blushed cheeks, sort of like the guy I know who tried to squeeze some information out of his daughter’s future in-laws with a little humor.

“So, Dan, let me ask you . . . what do you do? Now don’t tell me it’s selling Hoover vacuums … Ha ha!”

“As a matter of fact, that’s what I do.”

Swallow….”The check please!”

But I’ve been thinking about this friendship thing a lot since so many readers wondered how they might go about finding the type of friends who would actually take the time to list ten positive qualities for one of their friends in need.


Here are some thoughts that come to mind. But please take these with a grain of salt, because I’m so not “Miss Manners.” In fact, I could write a column called “Miss Tacky” (8 ways to re-gift your undesired presents, 7 techniques to make a person cry, 6 ways to interrupt a conversation, 5 classic insults, etc.)

1. Join a book club.

Am I in one? Hell no. I don’t have time. And if I did, I wouldn’t read novels or a book straight through, from cover to cover. Remember, I suffer from poor concentration and was saved by CliffsNotes back in high school and college. But most of my friends are in them, and, I have to admit, I’m a little envious of the discussions that happen in these groups. They seem so much more interesting than AA. Better coffee too. If your neighborhood doesn’t have a book club, you can usually join one as part of the local library, the recreational or community center, the community college, or online, of course. Many papers will post book club notices, as well. Hey, and you could start one. Then advertise in local coffee shops, recreation centers, etc.


2. Volunteer.

That one seems like a no-brainer, but, seriously, have you ever considered how many charities to which you could give your time? Your local civic association is always in need of volunteers for projects like “let’s clean up the park before a hundred dogs crap on it again” and Greenscape (the same thing), toys-for-tots, Christmas In April, and so on. Don’t forget about all your local politicians who need help with their campaigns. If one impresses you, offer to knock on a few doors for her or him. Host a cheese and cracker party for the community to get to know the candidate. These are not only friend-making possibilities, they are networking opportunities and a chance to give back and feel good about that. Remember that “Seinfeld” episode where Jerry gets a girl’s number off of an AIDS walk? Bingo. That’s what I’m talking about.


3. Go online.

If you’re reading this, you have probably already taken this step! Good for you, because according to a 2002 study published in the “American Journal of Psychiatry“, Internet support groups have been shown to help those suffering from depression. The study followed a group of more than 100 individuals with high severe depression who joined online support groups. Though many had received other forms of treatment, such as face-to-face therapy (86 percent) or antidepressants (96 percent), more than 95 percent of users agreed that participation in the depression Internet support groups helped their symptoms.

“Yeah, but those guys are kids,” you’re thinking to yourself. WRONG. Less than half of Facebook’s 35 million users are college students, and by the end of this year its executives predict less than 30 percent of Facebook users will be sleeping in dorms and eating dining hall food. I’ll get into this more in my next post, but just let me say this: several of my supportive friendships have been born online, and the others (that weren’t born online) have been sustained through online technology.


4. Seek out a support group.

Folks, there’s more than AA out there today. Have you ever looked through all the local listings of meetings in your area? There’s even ACOMP (Adult Cousins of Mean People) … just kidding. At one time, my goal was to attend every single kind of support group. I was thinking that would bring me karma. Now I know that it would only lead to exhaustion. But seriously, for depressed folks there are Recovery meetings (based on Recovery, Inc. founded by Dr. Abraham Low), DRADA (Depression and Related Affective Disorders) groups, NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) groups, DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance) groups. I’ve also considered assertive-training classes at my local YWCA (and they have all sorts of programs) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy groups at the community college.


5. Take a night class.

That’s where you can supposedly meet men (or women) if you find yourself single in your late 30s or 40s or 50s. For example, my one friend was sincerely interested in welding, so she took a class at the college. Naturally, she was the only chick in the class. I asked her if the movie “Flash Dance” (the flick about the Pittsburg woman who held two jobs as a welder/exotic dancer who wants to get into ballet school) had anything to do with her interest in welding. She said no, but she still loves to wear the sweatshirts off of her shoulder. If you take a class in something that you are interested in, you’re very likely to find potential friends with similar hobbies.


6. Get a dog.

I’m not talking about using the dog as a companion, although studies do indicate that pets are natural healers of depression. I just mean that dogs are people magnets–and usually nice-people magnets. A (male) friend of mine wanted to borrow our Lab-Chows when they were puppies because he noticed that when a cute fluffy creature was on one end of the leash, women swarmed around him, kneeling down to pet him (the dog). In Annapolis we have dog cults. If you walk your mutt in certain neighborhoods, you will meet approximately five to ten friends per mile. Double that if you’re walking a Golden Retriever. Triple it if you head to the “dog park,” designed specifically for doggy play, or proper socialization for dogs. (These owners might be wrapped a little too tight in my humble opinion–the kind of parents who buy mechanically-elaborate, safety-insured high chairs for their kids, replete with helmets in case of a drop.) Dog people talk dog language. Horse people talk horse language. And here’s another benefit: if you become psychotic, people will automatically assume you are talking to your dog. Bonus!


7. Steal friends from friends.

I realize this technique was frowned upon in the fifth grade. You would surely earn a reputation as a friend-stealer if you tried this too many times. But many (NOT ALL) people in their 30s, 40s, 50s (skip two decades for the boomers, just kidding) and 80s have loosened up a bit. I have found this to be a very efficient method of making friends, because someone has already done your dirty work–the interview process–and weeded out the toxic folks.

For example, when Eric and I landed in Annapolis ten year ago I knew no one but my husband and his mom. My sister-in-law, Julie, lived in Arlington, Virginia and came up sometimes on the weekends. I’d tag along with her to many of her social events. Julie became a very good friend of mine. We have several common interests and I respect her very much. It was no coincidence, then, that I also liked her friends. So I “adopted” them. Of course, I asked her … “Do you mind if I ask you best friend, Vange, to lunch? I really liked her!” Within a year, Eric and I were hanging out with his sister’s friends and their husbands more than his sister was (and this was okay by her). We were even included in the very elite “game night group,” a cult who gathers to drink, gossip, and eat dessert.


8. Knock on doors.

Yep. That’s what I did six years ago when I was stuck home with a fussy baby and going absolutely crazy. I walked around the neighborhood knocking on every porch that held a stroller. “You in there. I know you have kids. You want to be my friend?” I might have been a tad more subtle, but not much. I hung up signs in coffee shops, in office supply shops, and I told EVERYONE WITH A KID AND THEIR FRIENDS AND RELATIVES that I was started a playgroup on Wednesday mornings, 9 a.m., coffee and doughnuts when I felt generous, to try to regain my sanity. It lasted a year. Every bloody Wednesday it was at my house. Did I try to get other moms to host? Yes. My request was denied, so I finally had enough. But by then, I had found three really good mom friends to whine and laugh with, so I didn’t care about the other guys who had to find a new home to wreck.


9. Carpool to work.

Hey, it works for elementary school kids. Many six-year-olds meet their best buddies on the bus because 1) they live in their neighborhood (what could be more convenient?), 2) they are on the same schedule, and 3) they know the same people (“Susie has cooties.”) Not only is this technique eco-friendly, it makes sense on many levels: you already know a lot about these people (and if you don’t, you can always ask someone in your office who knows them better if they are friend-worthy), they have already been screened for drug use (score!), you already have a few things in common.

10. Attend a conference.

I’m a tad embarrassed to admit this, but I am a conference addict. I love conventions, mostly because I get to feel like a grown-up: there’s a smaller chance of someone vomiting on my shirt (unless she has had a martini too many) than if I stay at home. I’ve met some of my best friends at conferences that I attend on a regular basis like the Religious Bookseller Trade Exhibit, which is more of a retreat than a professional trade show. I try to get there as often as possible, because these get-togethers serve as a reunion of sorts. And I usually fly home with a stack of business cards, or potential friends.


11. Connect with your alumni associations.

I used to be much better at this before kids came along. I still pay my dues. Alumni associations are gold mines for potential friends. You already have a major experience in common: you can rehash old times as a conversation starter if you need one. Plus many associations sponsor community service events, workshops, or trips abroad that you can take advantage of even if you don’t need friends.

12. Talk to strangers.

I know this goes against what you were taught in elementary school. But, yes, the way to meet friends is to strike up a conversation with absolutely anyone. This means becoming the annoying lady everyone dodges on the plane: “So … what are you reading? … Oh, ‘Left Behind.’ … Have you gotten to the part where everyone except a handful of people burn in hell?… No? … I hope I didn’t ruin it for you.”


If you put yourself out there, yes, you will get rejected many times, and that hurts a little (sometimes a lot). But you will also find your best friends and guardian angels! That’s how I met Ann, my guardian angel. I plopped down next to her on an Amtrak train, and not even five minutes outside of New York, we were talking meds, shrinks, and dysfunctional relationships. Had I kept my mouth shut, I would be without one of the most important people in my life today.

Every day life is full of potential friendship moments: waiting rooms (Think shrink! You got something in common right there!), church, trains, planes, automobiles, office meetings, support groups, coffee shops, gynecologist exams (“So tell me, been to a good movie lately?”).

Get on out there!

To read more Beyond Blue, go to, and to get to Group Beyond Blue, a support group at Beliefnet Community, click here.

  • Wisdum

    Re Therese
    I could write a column called “Miss Tacky” (8 ways to re-gift your undesired presents, 7 techniques to make a person cry, 6 ways to interrupt a conversation, 5 classic insults, etc.)
    ** Hey, I already wrote those books … especially the etc., etc, etc,
    I was seriously thinking of writing The Book of Titles, which is a compilation of all the titles of books that need to be written ! I definitely could write “12 Ways (or more)To Piss People Off” (I sure most of you know that by now, especially Larry) For myself I have no rules for anyone to be my friend and that book/books/Book has already been written (if you catch my drift !) It has stuff in it like “I no longer call you slave, but Friend” … “My command to you is this, Love one another, as I have Loved you” and “Father,forgive My friends, for they know not what they do !” … I do have a lot of friends that have laid down rules, for me to be their friend … Of course, my response to all of them is “What do you figure the odds of that happening are !” … “A friend is somebody that knows all about you … but still likes you !” … I’m still working on my last 12 books, due to be published sometime between now and the next centurt … gotta go, lots to complete !
    LUV 2 ALL

  • Joan Anderson

    Therese, your twelve steps are wonderful! I will use at least two of them immediately. I am sometimes known as the Angel Lady because I write books on angels and miracles. I don’t know how to do anything on the beliefnet site, anything technical, that is, but I would like to put you in my friend section. Do you have to say okay (and how do you do that?) or do I have to (and..etc). I think my angel stories would be good for your friends too.
    I have read many of your things through the years and never realized that you grappled with depression too. Thank you for being so out there, and such an inspiration.

  • Larry Parker

    The nice thing about these rules is that many of them synergize.
    For example, I’m the leader of my depression support group, so #2 and #4 go together.
    And #6 and #12 clearly go together. (Clue to the wise: in Annapolis, retrievers may be the king of the hill — with the Chesapeake right there, it makes sense — but in New Brunswick, doxies rule.) Schumi is SUCH a “chick magnet,” pardon me saying so. If only I had the guts to go “Hey, what’s your sign?” to the beautiful women she meets for me …
    Ah, well. Progress, not perfection. I’m not in a position to date right now, anyway, but someday.
    PS — Not in a book club now, but I was in a wonderful one for two years when I lived in D.C. I was the only guy (though nothing came of it but playful flirting), but everyone was incredibly friendly — I stayed in touch with several members for awhile even after I resettled in Joisey — and I think I made the rest of the group feel obligated not to read “chick lit” every month, which I hope broadened everyone’s horizons. (And yeah, I even found a couple of “chick lit” books I liked …)

  • Cully

    ok Larry, what is “chick lit”? I always get accused of making my friends watch “chick flicks” (which sometimes they really like and want to watch again), but I don’t know about “chick lit”… unless you mean those *romance* novel type books.
    As to T’s “Freudian slip”… what can I say, she’s just too cute and she really did make my day 😉

  • Wisdum

    Re -“chic-lit” and Roman-ce novels
    How come when women write those books, they are called “Steamy Novels” … but when men do it is called pornography !
    LUV 2 ALL

  • Jim G

    I like the volunteer method. I am volunteering in my son’s Cub Scout pack, and I have met some good friends there. Although I don’t do non-Cub Scout things with these friends, we all enjoy the structure of repeated association through our trying to make a small difference for the boys.
    One is a very good match to be a friend of mine, he is part native american, although he looks mostly native american if not all, and he has a sense of humor and was raised catholic but stays away from catholic now (I guess he is more aligned with native american spirituality now but i don’t know that he practices it per se.) So if I ever decide to spend time with a friend – which at age 45, married, and with 2 kids, a business, and a job, plus college, I don’t particularly feel I have time for, he’d be the first one I’d call I think.
    When you have kids you – at least I – shift into a mentality where you are no longer number one, and therefore spending time with friends seems kind of pointless in a way. Again though I enjoy it if it has to do with goal directed activity. I probably would benefit to change my mind on this as I read somewhere that relationship troubles in a marriage – at least one guy thought so – can be improved if guys spend more time with guy friends. Shooting pool, watching sports, that sort of thing. It takes the pressure off of being around one person too much I guess.
    This is another area of it is in giving that we receive. I consider the students I teach as a sub teacher in a small middle and high school combination campus, in a rural low income area in the desert (I live in the mountains,) to be friends. Although I am teacher, parent, and psychologist to them foremost, I can sort of be friends as well in a way, when it comes to the repoir (spelling?) and camaraderie.
    The book club sounds fun. I attended a writers club in my small town a few times, although I’m just a closet writer and have never written anything, nor studied the craft much. That could be another good way.

  • Larry Parker

    Tracy Chevalier’s books (e.g. “Girl With a Pearl Earring,” the one they made into a movie with Scarlett Johansson to try to appeal to the male audience) are good examples of chick lit …

  • Wisdum

    I think Nora Roberts (AKA JD Robb)is a perfect example of the New World Order chic-lit … Equal rights is finally starting to manifest itself (or is the womanifest ?)
    LUV 2 ALL

  • Frank

    Jeez! I’m such a huge procrastinator. I’m just now finding the energy to overcome inertia and send out the call to friends to list 10 qualities I may possess that are positive. It will be interesting. But I can stand to have a few new friends too – no such thing as too many friends. And some of the techniques are downright fun! I joined Weight Watchers a week ago – and I’ve been overwhelmed by the sense of common purpose. When somebody celebrates a 5 pound loss – everyone claps like they’d discovered a cure for bird flu! I love it. That kind of enthusiastic affirmation is really great. So there’s an idea – kill two birds with one stone.
    Scarlett Johansson – hmmm, maybe I should check out Girl With a Pearl Earring!
    It’s early but I think the day is gonna have some grins!

  • Cully

    I loved Girl With the Pearl Earring and I love Nora Roberts too… I never thought of them as “chick” things.. I also like Robert Parker and (the late) JD MacDonald… Hey! I could start a book club or is there a book club blog???
    sorry… didn’t have coffee yet

  • Deb

    When I started working from home 5 years ago, I missed the conversations with coworkers about books we had read (we were all a bunch of English-major geeks).
    I started a book club with a couple of friends and their friends. I’m not a fan of putting myself out there and meeting new people, so starting with friends of friends helped ease me into it.
    Five years later, four of us still meet for potluck and discussion every other month. This year has been particularly hard for all of us (one unexpected divorce, one husband’s deployment to Iraq, and two struggling with careers) and book club has given us a chance to come together and be there for each other. I just wanted to talk about books, but it’s turned into so much more.

  • Wisdum

    Nora Roberts is one incredible writer, with tons of “NY Tines Best Sellers” . . I don’t have any time to read (except on the “porcelean throne”, if you catch my m when we are driving ! What a great idea !… (and to tell the truth, I would have never read any chic-lit, or Nora Roberts either … Wow ! She embarasses me ! …You go girl!)
    LUV 2 ALL

  • sandra weisz

    h.i, i’m sandy , and i don’t have any friends at all. i used to have thousands. it’s because of the venues i’ve been living in. bad neighborhoods, bad people, you know, the los angeles area. it isn’t even remotely friend friendly anymore. however it is surely enemy friendly .even my own mother hates me and is mean. and my cat hates me too. i’m not joking. i have the scratches to prove it. so , i’m packing up to get out of dodge, and the fires didn’t help anyone to get any nicer either. in fact it made people worse. the cost of living is horrible, and the bad quality of life is atrocious, and everyone is real suspicious, and real phoney. that is just what the culture is i’m trying to leave to oregon, where maybe it’s still america. by the way , depression, is mostly inverted rage. don’t worry be happy. as if. val speak , from the other side of the tracks. sandy

  • peg

    Therese, thanks for your suggestions, especially No. 12, talk to strangers, because I do it very often and most of the time get a friendly response and an interesting short or long conversation.

  • Blondie

    Hi Therese! I’ve just been catching up on your blog, Miss BUSY! Wow–you’re up to some good things here.
    About friends. Well, I’m naturally a “social” person with a hermit interior. One way I’ve made friends is to use public transportation. If you see the same person every single day, it’s easy to strike up a conversation on the train and then have someone to talk to. This worked for me for 3 years while I rode the train to work. I still talk to some of my train buddies. Then there is “bar fly.” This will not work for anyone who has a problem with alcohol, but it has worked for me in the past. I go to a local friendly bar, order a burger and a beer, and read a book. Turns out, a lot of people do this, too. Pretty soon, you see enough regulars that you can become friends with them. There are some very nice people out there in the world looking for friends, too! I’ve also made good friends by joining boards online about topics I enjoy–dollhouses and orchids. If you comment enough and share some photos, people really enjoy it. We’re all just waiting for someone to play with, after all. :)

  • Suz

    Are you kidding me!? You mean I have to actually get dressed, maybe even put a face on and go out of my house to make friends? Oh come on…tell me they just come to me, right at my door with warm cinnamon rolls waiting in hand and a carafe of coffee! Okay I don’t drink coffee but it smells
    Honestly though I think underneathe many of us have this secret wish esp when suffering with depression. It takes so much strength to break out of that wish mentality, get off our duffs and actually move out the front door, turn the key in our moped or car and make it somewhere….(wink)
    These are fantastic ideas Blue…some not so achievable for us less than extroverted home-bodies but nonetheless, ones we can focus on and make happen if we push ourselves just a little and even more believe in ourselves for once.
    I for one was so happy to see this post again on this topic because I was on the list of your women who have less than 4 friends in fact I have none, well at least that I could call in my neighborhood and say hey lets do something.
    My therapist told me he doesn’t understand because I in person present to be so out-going and a therapist type myself. Maybe I should have made friends with him and charged him for the sessions! lmao.
    Maybe part of my depression is learning why after so many years I don’t have a single friend or when I get one they seem to fade away. Maybe it goes all the way back to being tormented by a girlfriend in high school who made things so miserable for me I had to drop out of school. Maybe it is my own fear that no one will be able to keep up with my fibromyalgia flares and my nocturnal, burn the candle at both ends schedule.
    In any sense it feels great to come here and know that you are not just putting out articles like a machine. You actually read and respond and give feedback…both insanely and sane (giggle)
    Hugs, Suz


    i found that if you like your self, inside and out other’s will like you to. i was very shy, backwards ,as well as an abused wife. my ex dranked hard and hit hard. yet i had to take a step back , and say hold up,i’m worth way more then this and i want better. it has to stop and start with you and within you. friends are just a reflection of our selves ,whom we see or want to see. its easy ,yet are you willing to do the work to be a friend and also keep one. you’d be surprised how you will feel and smile when you have someone to share a conversation with. good luck to all the readers as just listening, talking and sharing means alot.

  • dax

    awesome. thank you very much.

  • pam faith

    so glad and interested in reading this article. as one who has endured a bi-polar disorder and lives away from family; i have made an effort to make my friends a “family.” i made a new years party for them as my “family” was far away. every year i make a channukah party for my closest friends. and , by the way that # increases every once in a while. now, i need to tend to my friends like the flowers in my small patio garden. i volunteer as a teacher to teach reading to hispanic childten as a means of “keeping my teaching tools sharp.” also, it simply brings the greastest joy. i leave the sessions on a virtual HIGH! i use my computer to email my friends and family to keep in touch, sometimes daily. especially since my daghter and daughter-in-law and families all work outside the home. i call my mom to keep track of her even though she doesn’t call me. but, every once in a while she imparts me w/words of wisdom. le chiam!

  • cyon

    Hey,glad to stumble across your blog. For me ,joining a care group meeting for Bible study once a week sort of give me inspiration. For once, you find people who are not only concerned about business and how much they make but concerned about praying for others’ needs.

  • MaineMcQ6

    I love it! Have used most of them myself at one time or another. No need to be lonesome in this day and age. We just have to join Peter and “Get out of the boat!”. This blog has to be a blessing to many people. Have a great weekend everyone.


    Depression comes from many things. I noticed you were addressing middle age people. What of a 63 year old who adopted a grandchild who is now 9. A boy. Should grandparents really have to raise their grandchildren. DEPRESSION! I know it.


    WOW! I didn’t know there were so many people out there who had the same problems making friends as me. It makes me feel a lot better. I think I will try some of these ideas to make more friends. It can’t hurt to try, after all. Blessings to all!

  • Adele

    Emily I know what you mean. I am 60 and I am raising two granddaughters ages 5 and 10. It is a very hard road and I am finding that I am missing all that I thought this time of life would bring me.

  • Kay

    Therese…..thank you for friendship suggestions…….will try some out. I am already part of a book club and its very enriching both mentally and emotionally. My problem is of a different nature. You know i am a great admirer of you and your Blog and i like to participate as it helps me alot BUT i never know where exactly your blog is going to appear. Most times its just by chance that i find you like today. Is there a way your name can be put in somewhere so we can identify when its YOU writing? thank you for being so supportive.

  • Lori

    Thanks for the ideas. Ive always been so painfully shy, never thinkin anyone would want to be my friend. I cant say i have even one Best friend.

  • Maria S. Hughes

    I am not a woman of many friends my philosophy is: I prefer to have “one best friend” then 10 not so good friends.
    But In February, I left a very sick 10 years old relationship “most like, I run from it” leaving everything behind. I went to a women shelter, for the first time in my life, I felt alone at first, but really you are never alone, what about ” God” he is always with us. After i was trasfered to another shelter closed to my work, and a much nicer shelter where people treated me with respect and dignity, i started meeting people and one was my roomate. Today we bouth have our appartment, we still struguling somedays are harder but, we keep eachother strong, by calling eachother or visiting once in while. I recently went through a hard moments and bouth of my friend I met in the shelter called me in that moment no even knowing what is up with me and gave me so much encouragment, another person that is be so kind and an angel to me is my “boss” she deserve the world, what woman she is. I thank God everyday, for those people to be in my life in those hard times and hope they will be there when my life change for better, kepping having hope and faith is the key, never let it go. Maria

  • Carlene

    I know just what you’re talking about. I used to be very shy and only had a handful (if even that many) good friends but as I got older I realized how much I was missing. You can start off talking to anyone anywhere and if you make a fool out of yourself don’t worry, it’s always good for a laugh later. You just never know how many great friends you can have until you start talking to people. alot of people feel just like you and are extremely shy and all they need is that first nudge to open up, I’m sure they have alot to say.

  • Barbara

    I have already tried 8 of your 12 and at 62 don’t have a job to carpool. The 4 I found I found that I was supporting them without having the favor returned. Since I didn’t meet a friend at the eight it would be unlikely I could carpool to common interests and activities. I find it difficult to relate with people who used to babysit me in my childhood or to those I used to babysit in theirs. My age group (55-67) seems to have gone underground. I have even been stood up to learn bowling. Online communication is dangerous and rarely leads to actual contact because you are corresponding with the world. I prefer being able to read facial responses. And I don’t type that fast. Audio video computers are out of my price range. So I’m negative. Trained a lifetime.

  • betty

    i had to laught .as iv try most of your ideals .still to this day none has work for me .you see when my hubby was in the army .it was easy to make friends ,but when we or they moved .seem to lose touch with them .even as a kid we always was moveing from one house to another [to pay mom surgery bills] .now as a adult its seems so much harder .either they are working .or involvedwith there own family .seem like i get along with my five sisterinlaws .then others woman .i even try on line friends .this is ok but i like to have friends over .or go places with them .hard to do with on line friends we live in louisana .& hubby sisters lived in another states .phone seems to be my best friend .planing on moved back home .soon .i know one of my problems is talking to much .love to draw & crafts & play games [ex playstation] .im to good heared .i seem to attract wrong type of friends .

  • Autumnmoongoddess

    Hello How are you today? Myself I am doing great!
    I wanted to make some comments on how to find friends.
    I to am also prone to to depression bt I really found out was I held on to alot of my past. FORGIVENESS is a big lesson for me how to become a true friend.
    You see you can like or even love or trust anyone untill you open your own heart and learn to LOVE and TRUST yourself.
    When you do then you have the self esteme you really feel and don’t try to convnce yourself into believeing you do when you really don’t.
    All of these Ideas are wonderful and good.
    Being true to yourself is the most important one!
    My own way I have have friends are to find out who I am first and they find you.
    You see everyone we meet we are destined to meet our souls guide us it just depends if we know ourselfs enough and are intuned to listen or not.
    just stop and ask yourself who am I really? Why do I feel depressed? What am I not wanting to feel that I need this? Why am I not forgiving?
    In the end I think if you truely listen you will find the answers.
    Many Blessings to all

  • kimberly

    as a single 41 y.o, without kids and many friends at all anymore, I am feeling like I’m getting depressed again. I alos realize it’s merely bec I am just lonely! I have tried most of these ways to meet new ppl, but thanks for reminding me to TRY AGAIN! The otherthing is that you have to be OPEN to meeting ppl and talking, making eye ocntact etc. That is sometimes hard when others are ina hurry all the time and assume you are as well. Perserverence is key!
    Online is nota bad way either, but that gets a little stale if it doent go beyone emials and IM’s. I have met wondeful ppl, but none nearby.
    So, thanks for the reminders. I am off to Lowes to get some paint and I promise to make eye contact and say hello to three ppl – ok, MEN!! Try that ladies!

  • Linda

    This is a terrific article. I always wanted to do most of the things you mentioned. However, I do do the same thing as you, within the first 10 minutes, the person knows my life. Most of the time I feel a connection to this person. Thanks, you just gave me permission to be me!

  • Cynthia B.

    This message is for Barbara, the “first responder” to the article, Beyond Blue. I agree with you 100% . . . I’ve tried all but the carpool and have acquired only 1 part-time acquaintance. I am 61 years old, still vital and very open-minded and have asked myself hundreds of times, “What is wrong with me?” I used to have a wide circle of friends/acquaintances. Retired, but went back to work this summer to ward off boredom. To the author of the article, thanks for trying…getting the message out there.

  • Jody

    All good and worthwhile ideas … however there was no mention of a faith community. I cannot imagine where I would be without my wonderful faith family. I have been widowed twice. My son was killed by a drunk driver. I have had cancer and been a victim of identity theft. He stole everything and now I can just barely pay bills and buy cat and dog food! Still life is SOOOO fine. One never knows what is just around the corner. I am so blessed!

  • Beansel

    I have never posted a comment anywhere before but this got my attention. I make acquaintances fairly easily but don’t have any friends that I spend anytime with and I find it hard to admit ,but yes, I am lonely. I try to be friendly and outgoing. I don’t know whaT I am doing wrong or not doing at all.
    I am a paraplegic-I use a wheelchair -and don’t drive. Is that it? Sometimes I wonder if people just assume I can’t get around(I have my ways. I have ajob,Itry to be active in my church and I have done a fair amount of volunteer work but still no real connections.Any ideas? By the way, I am 39,married,no kids and two wonderful dogs.

  • Linda

    Would like to contact Jody re:Faith and make a new friend.
    I would very much like to talk to you regarding your trials and challenges.

  • Antonia

    I just have to say this has been a wonderful motivational article. In today’s world, depression, along with lonliness, is increasing and I think everyone should read this. Thank you for writing it!
    -Antonia from NY





  • Anna

    Thank you for this entertaining and insightful piece. OK, maybe “insightful” isn’t quite the right word. I think it’s a good reminder of how to reach out and make new friends.
    I’ve always had good friends and still do but, because I live in a new area and it’s out in the country, most of them are too far away to see often and I miss our “face time”. I have a wonderful husband and a loyal dog but I still feel lonely because I don’t have girlfriends I can call and just run over to see for 5 minutes.
    You know the part about telling someone all about yourself but not knowing anything about the other person? I’m usually that other person. I find people and how they tick fascinating so I listen and, believe me, people love to talk about themselves. But, at the same time, if they make no effort to ask me a question or learn about me, I doubt we’ll become good friends. I think that’s why a lot more people consider me a friend than I feel are my friends. Hope that made sense.

  • Nancy O’Connor

    For me boredom is like a living death. I keep myself involved and busy. I am writing a book on my family history starting with the life of my great grandmother and the seven children she raised. I did geneaology research for 12 years. I founf and visited second and third cousins I never knew existed, visited the places my great grandparents lived. I made new friends and will leave a legacy of the stories of the lives of my family. Write or record stories form your life both good times, sad and bad times and leave something precious for your decendants. Some one will bless you for it and your memory will live on after you are gone. Nancy

  • Jean

    I have tryed to make friends at work.. I wish I would have kept to myself. Every one has thier own life and they all have family that live close.. And they don’t need to have a friend. Jean

  • Anonymous

    I’m one of the people who doesnt really talk much and have people wondering who I am, how old am I, what do i do for fun, ect. I find it hard making friends at work, church, park, ect because I think i have a fear of people WHY!! I have God’s spirit inside me and I’m always smiling but in my weak moments i tense up. Although i have found that initiatating my relationship with God makes it easier to approach people and being approachable. I still have those moments that i clinch up… Hopfuly I’m not the only who feels that way!!! DID THAT MAKE SENCE. Thanks for the tips I have been needing help making friends and was afraid to open my mouth to ask. God bless you all!!!

  • Darlene

    I’m so glad to read this article, I have been going through alot of changes with my daughters, (youngest left for college) middle daughter just married and oldest & husband just had baby. I have been experiencing depression!!! I am looking for new friends other than the gossiping mothers I have tolerated. Thanks for the great tips, I’ll will began using a few today!!

  • Kathy

    My problem is I care to much and say to much by being truthful. Ihave alot of forever freinds that I don’t see anymore because of miles Or our lifes are different stages But I would like a freind that no matter what hoe or when I could speak the honest turth and be thought of who I am and why I am who I am DOes that make sense to any one out there?????????

  • vincent

    you have given me the idea to start a chronic pain support group. i have been depressed for several years and have lost all my friends when i left a church that was riddled with sexual misconduct from the archbishop on down. i have since returned to my roots at a catholic church, though the pastor is rather dull and controlling, i think i will make a proposal to hime that a support group be started for people with chronic pain.

  • Patrick

    I would like to add to the tips on how to make friends: A wonderful bit of advice that sums it all is this:
    “You can make more friends in a week by being interested in them than you can in a year by trying to make them interested in you.”
    Everyone wants to unlock the door to friendship by trying to get the other to come get interested in us and we want to have the smug contentment of picking and chosing the ones we want – no deal ! The real effective way is for us to do the getting interested in the other and being friendly to one and all.
    “To have a friend, be a friend.” is very true.
    Once you forget about yourself and your needs, you will be much happier and the only real way to be happy is to make others happy.

  • Corinne McLuckie

    I am glad to read that there is another person out there that starts random conversations with strangers just like I do. Maybe that is why I have such a wide variety of friends from coast to coast, and some international pals as well. I was one of the people in college, on the first day of class, while standing in the hall waiting for the professor to show up, that would start talking to everyone around me like I was on stage. It would bring a bunch of nervous students who didn’t know anyone into a cluster of laughing buddies in less than 2 minutes. If it is a gift or a curse I will never know, I just have never had a fear of what people will think of me and I have made life long friends because of it. I think your tips will bring alot of people out of their shells and expand their horizons more than you know. Good for you!

  • victor m. hernandez

    thank you for the tips on friendship. we can’t escape the reality that in everyday life we need to relate to people, and finding one friend a really a true wealth. we need to find the virtues – patience, perseverance, compassion, sensitivity, strength, faith, hope, and love, to keep on going strong and happy. even in the midst of difficulty or specially in difficult times.

  • Ron Kurtz

    Too bad you didn’t mention anything about joining a church, mosque or synogog. Lots of good people hang out there.

  • CARMEN Manso

    These are really great ways to meet people and I’m glad I not only read them but practiced most of them when I was an Airforce wife. Needless to say I’m Not a wife any longer Air Force or other wise but I do still have my friends that stuck with me and I with them. It’s great.

  • Crystal Baugus

    I really enjoyed reading this today. I have three close friends, two of which are my sisters and the other is my next door neighbor( husband’s best friend’s wife). One time my husband asked me why I didn’t have alot of friends and I really had to think about it to come up with the answer. I’ve never really tried before. There are so many people in my everyday life, work, church etc. Now that I try to make new friends, I have lots of friends. Now that I know how to be a good friend to others, others want to be my friend. My 10 year old son just joined the Cub Scouts two months ago. I love reading his Scout book. The scout slogan is “Do a good turn daily”. That means an extra act of kindness to someone everyday. One that you go out of your way for with no expectations of anything in return. You’ll make new friends in a hurry!

  • Maureen

    Am glad am not the only one who struggles to make friends. I meet people but I don’t seem to know how to follow up, I do have friends (4) who seem more like enemies so I tend to avoid them and shamefully have to put up with them as I don’t have new friends to replace them or move on. What advice do you have on not getting rid of long time friends who only think about what they can get from the friendship and don’t even know they are friends who only hang around for the good time. One example is I always buy my 3 good friends gifts for their b-day and I have never received any from them, is this wrong of them or me.

  • sylvia rhodes

    Ya have a lot of good Ideals and most of them I have done, because thats who I was, not because these things were planed out. I never met a stranger, no matter where I went. If they hung around me more than a few min. I was talking to them.

  • Kevin Willard Barbour

    I enjoyed reading your report and it helpeed me a bit.I have been sober for 25 years and find help there at aa meetings.When you share something with another it is off your chest and out of you. once you do this it is easier to talk to people.Its noy self contained it out in the open and that is a great feeling. kevin barbour thanks

  • Timothy Johnson

    My biggest problem has always been eye contact. It is my impression that people think you have something to hide if you do not make consistent eye contact in conversations. Now that doesn’t mean to stare directly at their nose or into their eyes every second but it does mean to make consistent eye contact to prove you are really attentive to what is being said and that you are sincere in listening and communicating what you have to say. Also, with women, and I am certainly no expert by a long shot in that department (being a man, an excellent attentive listener is always a welcome and pleasant feeling for them.
    Any comments anyone? Thank you.

  • Teresa J. Wright

    I have also been asked by my husband why I don’t have “my own” friends. My children have their own friends and my husband has his own friends and I, in fact, have my own friends, but it never occurred to me that my best friend, my husband, would say something like that or what he meant by it. I have to admit that I have a knack for giving him attention and caring about him to the extent that he has my undivided attention if possible. So my friends and I have an understanding that sometimes our conversation might have to be continued a little later if my husband requires some attention or makes himself available and vice versa. I’m not sure why that comment was made but it is good to stimulate each other to think about friendship. I absolutely love a good laugh so here is a little humor on the subject of some folks’ idea of friendship.
    In a crowded city at a busy bus stop, a beautiful young
    woman wearing a tight leather skirt was waiting for
    a bus.
    As the bus stopped and it was her turn to get on,
    she became aware that her skirt was too tight to
    her leg to come up to the height of the first step
    of the bus.
    Slightly embarrassed and with a quick smile to the
    bus driver,
    she reached behind her to unzip her skirt a little,
    thinking that this would give her enough slack to raise her
    She tried to take the step, only to discover that
    she couldn’t. So, a little more embarrassed, she once again
    reached behind
    her to unzip her skirt a little more, and for the
    second time attempted the step. Once again, much to her
    chagrin, she could not raise her leg. With a little smile to
    the driver, she again reached behind to unzip a little more and
    was unable to take the step. About this time, a large man who was standing
    behind her picked her up easily by the waist and placed her
    gently on the step of the bus. She went ballistic and turned
    to the would-be Samaritan and screeched, “How dare you touch my body! I don’t even know
    you!” The Texan smiled and drawled, “Well, ma’am,
    normally I
    would agree with you, but after you unzipped my fly
    three times,I kinda figured we was friends.”

  • Lagena Means

    I sure could use some friends. I am a stay at home mom with three children and homeschool all three.
    I agree that it is really hard making true friends. I do not have but one true friend. And that of course is My Lord Jesus Christ. He is always there for me. But it is totally different when you have a woman friend, to laugh and cry and even share secrets with.

  • Lauren B

    I just wanted to say thanks for sharing your article, you have great ideas!!! I think it was tastefully done and very cute :) !!!

  • amy

    HI..thanks for the read..and i enjoyed all the comments too :)
    is there a chat in this site, so us ppl can make friends on here???

  • Penny Wilson

    I enjoyed your piece…i for one don’t have any friends i can talk to on a daily basis…oh i have my next door neighbor ..but nobody to go out and do things with…i’am bi-polor…but iam on meds…i do ok…i’am not manic or nuts ..iam ok…so having someone to talk to would be nice once in a while…my son is 21 so he’s grown and my only one…so ok it would be nice to talk to someone….

  • karen custer

    Great article. I have a church where I connect. My problem is I am sooo shy. I am afraid to strike up a conversation with anyone. Now I am on the board of trustees and our job description is to mingle and get to know everyone. So I guess I’ll start there. Thanks for the tips and inspiration!

  • julie chambers

    I envy your ability to say what’s on your mind and open yourself up to friendships or people thinking you’re strange.I am always very careful about what I disclose about myself and to whom.For this reason I have few people that I can confide in.

  • Gilda Campbell

    Great piece of work!! My problem is that I am shy. If someone starts talking to me first, I will talk to them. But I will not start the conversation. I smile at people that I am passing, but I will not speak to them. I talk to the people at the office but I only have one friend and we can only hang out ever once in awhile.

  • Mona Staton

    I really enjoyed this article. I am always looking for new friends. I am a stay at home mom. Well an empty nest mom now. My son went off to college this fall and my daughter got married in July. I have a few friends from church. The problem is everyone works and there just isn’t time to get together. I don’t call anyone much because they are so busy with their lives. I do feel very lonely at times. I miss the high school friendships where you could call your best friend at any time and not feel like you were intruding on their time. It was a time for sharing eveything.

  • Karin

    Loved the article. I will try a couple of them although I am shy, too. Mona – I miss those HS friendships too…wish I had your email, I’d write to you. I am going to have an empty nest in a couple years and we could commiserate.

  • Anonymous

    Great article. My problem however is not being able to keep friends. I never had many at any one time from as far back as i can remember. Tell me me how wonderful our friendship is and I really go out of my way to be a good friend. But bang something happens and I am told we were never friends. I have decided to tay away from getting close to anyone because it really really hurts those breakups.

  • Mona Staton

    Hi Karin: I wish we could share emails but I don’t know how to give it to you. I will tell you that the empty nest is not so bad. I cried for 6 months before my son left for college but as I see him growing and learning how to be independent it makes it OK. Believe me they still need mom and check in with questions.
    Also I wanted to share with the readers how God responded to what I shared. This may sound a little strange but the minute I sent the comment, my dearest friend called me from work to tell me she was thinking of me. She never ever does that. I truely believe that there are no accidents and God knows our every need. And fellowship is one of our greatest needs.

  • diane small

    i have had a empty nest foe some time now,i’m married with five children,the oldest is 40 and the youngest is husband and i travel at least 3 to 4 times a year we just got back from visiting the capatols in europe.i love to travel,but it seems that is the only time we are husband& home it’s very lonly,i use to volunteer,but that ended in me having surgery.i’d like to have aclose friend that i could feel close to i know this take time.but i’ve looked for alot of things to fulfill my day.and i’m active in my churdh too.DENA SMALL

  • jessica

    I really enjoyed this article. I think i have new things I can try now. I am always trying to find new frinds. I have three beautiful children and i’m still with there father so prety much everything I do is with them. He has lots of friends he hangs out with and I try telling them to bring there girlfriendsaround but when they do i feel like I’m smothering them.I guess I put yself out there too much and I try to move to fast. It’s just that I’m not getting any younger and I feel like time is running out for me to have a social life. I always try the part of talking to everyone but like i said they always make themselves distant. I guess I can try new things. Thanks for the article!

  • doey

    Id rather try harder to keep my old friends than to steel some one elese friend thats kind of LOW.

  • Lynne

    AAAHH…Look at all the lonely people…Elenor Rigby. 75 posts. WOW! Misery loves company. Loved the joke Teresa Wright! I rarely start conversations myself but I’m an excellent listener so people generally open up to me. That’s okay. I like being able to help someone out and you never know if you’ve just met your new best friend. Most of my friends are elsewhere living their lives. I’m not griping, it’s just circumstances that’s all. I had to move in pursuit of gainful employment. I do miss the immediencey of being able to talk to my friends face to face. I do e-mail frequently and see them when it’s possible. I also try to make new friends wherever I go in my travels.I will try a few of your suggestions Therese. Creative as always!

  • sandra weisz

    i am probably the lonliest person in the world. i am now homeless, and nobody cares if i die. and guess what, i got this way from being too honest and too nice. and further more being online is giving me a far worse life than before. you cannot meet people online. that is insane. you don’t know who they are. it’s a stupid electronic device, and besides ,people have been cruel to me online too. the internet is nothing more than a big porno machine, selling crappy products, with junky nasty people on it . it is not the real world , and furthermore i have not been able to find a place to live with corrupt craigslist either. and myspace, what a pile of smoking losers. one has to get out in the real world. even if it means the toilet of the world which would be l.a. county and so. ca. and now it’s spreading. europe here i come. fucking illegals your’e getting your wish.

  • Mona Staton

    Sandra, I am so sorry that you have no one. I wish that you lived in my town. I have a wonderful little support group. Each person has their own thing that they are struggling with. We have widows, divorcees people with depression. It is like a little family. I find a lot of love there. I know without a doubt that God loves you and I pray that he will provide your needs and give you many friends to help you along the way. God bless you.

  • Vicky

    First I have to say the article cracked me up! You have my kind of sense of humor. My depression (severe) is a direct result of my 20-year-old son being killed by a drunk driver 3 years ago this past Oct. 31st. I used to have a lot of friends but since my son was killed they have disappeared. Needless to say I am hurt and angry by their disappearance. My life has become mundane at best. I stay at home with not much of a desire to leave the house with exception to going dancing on the weekends. My middle daughter, who has become my best friend, moved out on her own in August. This left me lonely at home. I am married but my husband works an hour away and has fairly long hours and then goes to bed early in order to get enough sleep so we don’t get much time together. I also have a 12-year-old daughter who has more of a social life than I do. My husband and I have been married almost 5 years and 3 of those 5 years have been with me grieving, severely depressed, cutting, full of anxiety and suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome. I have not been able to return to my job full-time yet. I work at home. I am a medical transcriptionist. My job does not requuire much personal interaction at all and I have found myself looking in the help wanted adds thinking if I were to get out of the house and around other people I would feel better. I do not, however, have a car at this time so I am stuck at home. I do have a church and have belonged to this church since it started around 11 yrs ago. The atmosphere used to be one of family. This is no longer the case. I do not have good friends left within the church. My pastor tells me that this is my doing, that I have withdrawn from people. Admittedly, I have withdrawn from some of the people because of the absolutely thoughtless things they have said since my son died. Whereas I realize noone really knows what to say to someone who is grieving and most people are just trying to help, some people are just rude in what they say and I don’t tolerate rude. I am a loving, compassionate, smart, funny, talented, spiritual, supportive person who is fun to be with yet I have few friends. I have gone to several support groups; the one I have found to be most helpful is Parents of Murdered Children. I have corresponded with a couple of people from Mothers Against Drunk Drivers but there is not a chapter of M.A.D.D. near me that I can join. I intend to start a chapter in my county but I do not feel I have the energy to do this just yet. I have a really great counselor but without a car it is quite difficult for me to get there. I apologize for rambling. The main thing I guess I want to say is that it is difficult to become friends with anyone when most everything in my life is attached to the memory of my son. God bless to all who are dealing with depression.

  • Bonnie Miller

    I’d just like to have someone to talk to. I haven’t had a good friend in over a year or two. They always seem to screw me over. I can honestly say I have one good friend. But I still can’t tell her everything going on in my life. My family has pretty much dumped me after my husband and I have done a lot for them. They are accusing my husband of stealing stuff from them all. My parents which are in their mid eighty’s think he stole from them and two of the things they are accusing him of they gave us one thing and the other I asked for. Now both my sister’s are doing the same and my brother that hasn’t been in my life for 15 years is accusing us of stealing the drugs he sent to us thru the mail which I flushed down the toilet. He only sent them so his soon to be ex wife wouldn’t bust him on them.
    Beyond blue is an understatement for me. Did I mention my husband has been out of a job for over a year now and we had to leave beautiful FL to move in with his dad in IN?? We both grew up here but I have no family here and no friends. Now we have his family to contend with. I love his dad and brother and his family but his mom is a trip. We’ve had a great marriage for the last 15 years and now it seems to be falling completely apart.
    I have thought about suicide before and sure am thinking about it again. Thinking really hard. I can’t have any of my dreams come true because we never live in one place long enough to start what I want to do. We have to move because of his jobs. I have no release. Did I mention I am chronic depressed and have bipolar 2-3.
    And now we may be moving to CT. Did I also mention I hate snow and cold? I wish I could just take my kids and animals and go live in the wilderness. My life sucks!!!!

  • Anonymous

    I am so sorry about your son. I wanted to reach out to you because I, too, am a medical transcriptionist who works out of my home. As I went down the list of suggestions in the article, I felt like “Been there, done that” I joined a volunteer group. Just like high school, they all paired off or grouped off into smaller groups. I have a dog. Either she doesn’t like the other dogs in the neighborhood, or the other dogs are all mean (people get rottweilers for protection and then walk them every day and wonder why people cross the street to get away from them). My little beagle is no match for the big dogs in the ‘hood. And don’t get me started on the dog park. She hides behind my legs. And I don’t need for her to get Parvo or kennel cough, which run rampant there. I don’t have kids, so those suggestions don’t work. I went to my class reunion – none of them have changed, and the friends I had then are out of touch (is it me?)
    Anyway, people told me when I started working at home that I would need to fight the isolation, and try to get out more. I didn’t realize how true that is. I have a “significant other” (boyfriend? at 50?) now, so that helps too, but he has exactly 1 best friend (men!) and it doesn’t seem to matter to him, he works, he comes home, and goes to bed. My shrink says I just have more social needs than he does, and I need to make sure I get out there and socialize. How, exactly?
    I guess I have “acquaintances” and I see people, at my exercise class, walking the dog, etc., but we don’t socialize outside of the places that we see each other (exercise class) I try for a while, but then it seems to fall apart. When I call people, they are busy, or not home, or they take 3 other calls while they are talking to me. How rude. I’m just not one of those “social butterflies” who is on the phone 24/7, and has something to do every night of the week. I just want one or two good friends (besides my “man-friend”) that I can vent to.

  • devan r

    I’d rather be able to face myself in the bathroom mirror than be rich and famous.
    -Ani DiFranco
    The life of the individual only has meaning insofar as it aids in making the life of every living thing nobler and more beautiful.
    -Albert Einstein

  • tram nguyen

    I’m really like this article. I hope I can pass my problem with my closed freind. Freind forever!

  • Cynthia

    Okay, here’s a story…
    At age 55, I was divorced after a twenty year marriage, my youngest went off to college and my mother went into a nursing home. I quit my job, seduced a man 14 years my junior, stayed home, drank a lot, talked on the ohone all night(that’s how I finally found out the man I had seduced was gay)mourned my marrage (not my husband), lost 30 lbs, lost my car, and almost lost my home to foreclosure.
    By age 58, I had returned to college completed my BA degree in less than 2 years,(Am now working on a Masters), stopped drinking and kept studying, bypassed another disaterous relationship, sought help to save my house, found a spiritual home, made new friends, found a great job (I don’t mind getting to go to), and developed a wonderful relationship with a man my own age.
    How, you ask? I won’t say it was easy, but it all began with going inside myself, forgiving and letting go. Then setting goals deciding what I wanted for the second part of my life and going for it. Zen helps, meditaion helps, faith helps, whatever works for you to understand that it is all inside, not out. Once the inside is clear and you are positive, you can’t help but attract positive things and that includes lovers, friends, and everyone and everything else. Others can see your joy as it shines through you. And if there is negativity, deal with it and let it go.
    As for friends, I was eager to connect socially after being deprived of close friends during my marriage. But, I made one huge mistake in trusting a a woman who clearly proved not to be a true friend. Tnat hurt, but I got over it. By the way, that gay guy and I are the best of friends because we wer honst with each other. I have always had lots of acquaintamces and now I have more friends, because I have accepted and am happy with myself.
    I too, talk to strangers, and have tried most of the 12 things, except the dog (I’m a cat person) and car pooling. But these things have come naturally as I have progressed socially and spiritually.
    Three last things:
    Visit a Unitarian Universalist church- lots of choices, no “group think”
    As Joseph said- “Follow your bliss”
    Leap and the net will appear.
    Be Happy, you deserve it!

  • Erica

    I would try so many of the things you suggest, and I do belong to a deression group, I have been there at least two years. Lately it seems I’ve had to dismiss the you guessed it – four people I knew because they were toxic. My other problems are that I’m disabled, with no transportation and no time for classes etc. because of dialysis 3 times a week and doctors appointments the rest of the week. My only other outing is going to the grocery store. I feel so empty and lonely that I have taken to staying loaded on librium so I can sleep and not feel the pain. I’m trying to learn to walk again and find a job (I’m trying to take a tax course online, but there have been so many problems and no one is really trying to help me). That seems to be all of my life, me struggling to get anything done. The Cymbalta helps, but it can’t really fight what I’m going through. I also recently broke up with my boyfriend so I just feel numb and don’t think I will ever be able to have another relationship. Even my bestfriend and I aren’t really close anymore. I’m ready to just run to another state, at least then I’d have a reason for being alone. I’m trying to be more positive, my negativity is so strong and bad. After I got sick, my selfesteem dived and it’s always been kind of weak. I’ve just never really felt loved by anyone and even less so now. My heart is broken in anyway you can imagine. I thought there were people that were always going to be there, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Anyway Blessed Be. E.

  • hoygal

    WOW…and I (as always) thought I was the only one with those same issues…the “best” friend that turned into the “worst” ever !!! the disibility that limits me but frees me at the same time…the overload of step-children after my own are raised. Their Dad who I wonder why he has me here ???? Nanny, maid etc. because I certainly don’t get much “lovin”…but the sun is shining today and the bills are caught up, and that new refill of Zanax…it’s the end of another week of getting them off to school and work and theirs cold beers in the fridge and cigs here too. What else could I possibly have to be depressed about. Even the cats and dogs are nearby !!

  • kittykats3

    Well with me it is hard to make friends it seems that I must be a very boreing person I try to join in conversations but people just look at me as if I just expeled some gas or something..Though I do have one very nice person that I know and thats about it even my own kids are like that and there adults..Some times it hurts so much that I just cry..My husband seems to be the only one that cares..I have thought of joining the bible study classes at our church I mybe able to find some kind soul there.At least my cats love me for who I am……

  • Mona Staton

    Hey Kittykat3, joining a bible study would be a great way to find friends. When you attend a Sunday morning worship service it is hard to get to know people on a intimate basis. I don’t work and stay at home so it is very hard to meet people. I attended church for years without developing many friendships. Then our church started the small group fellowship. First we did the Purpose Driven Life study. After that was finished I ended up in a small support group. I have found so many wonderful people in that group. It is easier to connect in a small group. You are blessed to have a husband that really cares for you. I too am very close to my husband. He is my best friend.

  • Doris

    I enjoyed the article, but enjoyed the comments more. It helps me realize there are people in the world going through some of the same things and you don’t feel alone. For 11 years my husband and I pastored and before that we were youth leaders, co-pastors and in various ministries including being music ministers. We now attend a church to help with music, ect. until we find direction for another church.
    My situation is, I am happily married, have 2 great children and 2 wonderful grandchildren. I have a relationship with God, who is my good friend. I have counceled and befriended and given of myself to others. Yet, I find myself at a time of feeling lonely for friends, or just a good friend. Of all the people I have been a friend to, where are they? I feel that, when the need for what I could give was expended, they were no longer there. I’ve been “there” for people and would like to have a healthy relationship of give and take with a friend. My husband and my daughters ARE my friends and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. But, I want a girlfriend I can share and run around with. Thank you for the comments. It makes me realize there are others out there, wanting someone, maybe me, to be a good friend to them. So, I’ll keep looking.

  • irma

    i dont have no freinds at all and i wish i did but all my life i did not have meany nether so i am used to it and i am depprist all the time .
    i just slit up with the man that i been with for 11 years and now i dont no if i have a house to live in becouse he says to meany lies aout me and my kids andi am sick of it all .
    i do go to the reastront to have coffee and take my kids to work and then i come home and do house work and that is all i do and i want to meet a man that will make me happy and i will make them happy i have 4 kids thay are 27and 23,21,20 and i have a granbaby she is4 and one grandbaby on the way .
    i like going camping and being out doors fishing and i love taking pics with my camra and i love the sky i see so much up there and some times i wish i was up there to see it more .
    my kids are most of my life and i now thay are old enuf to be on there own but if it wae not for them i would not have nothing to live for and i do meen that to i am depprest all the time i dont want to do eny than at all my life sucks big time i dont have a man that i no i can do thans with i would love to go out to diner or movie or a walk in the park .
    well got to run for now talk soon

  • CLeo

    I’ve found that many of those around me have a circle of friends or of family. They don’t need new additions, they are satisfied and don’t want to chance a change. Many others I’ve found are not what they present themselves to be. Many Americans are still very much under the Andrew Carnegie’s suggestions for making friends and influencing people. They believe or have been told that you need to show an interest in the other person’s life, some do this to extremes by asking personal questions. But most often I found that it’s an unhealthy curiosity or an initial curiosity about the stranger facing them, the new neighbor, the person at the party, etc.
    I’ve found people who couldn’t give a hoot about anyone, they’re just being ‘polite’ and trying much too hard not to risk being thought of as ‘unfriendly’ or, worse yet, ‘unsociable’.
    Yes, dogs are great people magnets, only dogs are sincere beings and if they don’t like a person or his/her dog, they show it. They’re my ‘People’s thermometer’, if my dogs are uneasy around others I become more observant.
    In a nutshell, it’s difficult to make lasting or deep friendships once you’ve past your younger decades. Few are willing to chance new frienships and are, sometimes, still stuck in the old ones, whether they are satisfying or not.

  • lanelocust48

    For me, it’s a day to day thing. Some days I require to have that people contact and then other days….I don’t like people and don’t require their presence.
    I do get the lonelies, however, if I reflect back on what is going on in my life, I can almost know what has triggered those gut-wretching lonelies!!!
    I do find solace in having few friends that I can honestly be myself and say exactly how I feel!!!! Other than those few people, I keep my conversations on the surface level.

  • Angela

    Very interesting article and great suggestions. For myself, I met one of my really great guy friends in a divorce support group 7 years ago. Other great long term friends I have met was in a great group of people from a twelve step program. But, not your typical twelve step program. It is one called Celebrate Recovery and is Biblical based and is nation wide. It is a program calling on anyone with any hurts, habits or hang ups. In other words all of us. They have a different place each night of the week that offers the program so it is available for all schedules. It usually includes an affordable dinner. It helps me to cope with life by realizing other people feel and think just like I do because deep down we are all really alike. I go there when needing to talk, share or even to listen to words of wisdom others have. People exchange hugs and words, even phone numbers. Maybe this can help someone else looking for a place to connect with other good and real people.

  • SuzanneWA

    Therese! I LOVE #12 – I talk to strangers ALL the time!! In fact, I met my very BEST friend on JURY DUTY! If I had gravitated to the one person I KNEW there (a woman I did Faith Training with), I never would have met Barbara. I sat down next to her, in the only seat available outside of the courtroom, and we started talking. Well, I’m like you. Just about the first thing out of my mouth was my psychiatric history! I do that ALL the time; just glad to know there’s someone else out there who does the same thing.
    Well, it turned out that she was a Christian counselor, who offered her services free of charge. But as our friendship grew, she was NOT my counselor – but my FRIEND. She has an “open door policy,” whereby I drop in on her any day of the week, and she offers me tea and cookies (and sympathy!), and we laugh and share our daily woes. We even took a 3-day trip to Williamsburg together, and laughed ourselves silly! Did I tell you?? Barbara just turned 75 – looks 55, acts 25. And she’s been married 56 years! When I think that there was ever the possibility of my NOT having met her – it truly freaks me out…
    Yes – I talk to strangers, but find that within 10 minutes, we have SOMETHING in common. No – I DON’T have a wide circle of friends, but I CAN count my GOOD friends on the fingers of one hand. These are the friends who will BE THERE, in a crisis, or just when you have to vent. I think if you spread yourself too thin in the friendship department, someone gets “left behind,” and you fritter your time with friends who aren’t that supportive, or you lose one through inconsistency.
    Thanks for this blog; your wisdom is astonishing (as is your humor!) Love ya, Therese!!

  • Denise

    You didn’t mention going to church is so postive and you can meet a lot of good folks, especially during those powerful family and friends day, any church celebrations, revivals etc…………….

  • Henry

    Though I’m soon to be fifty, I’ve always found it much easier to open up to younger people, even children. I don’t try to be an influence to anyone, just a friend.
    Offering help or showing interest in what someone is doing is a great way to meet people. Even shy people like myself can do this. You just have to admit to yourself that you care about others, and use that thought as motivation.
    If you can’t find someone to talk to here’s an idea.
    Hang out at a bookstore or anyplace with a magazine stand. If someone else looks at a book that interests you, or you know something about, talk to them about the subject. If you can get a conversation going with them, then give them your email address and ask for theirs.
    If they don’t have an email address, offer to buy them a cup of coffee so you both can chat about the subject of interest, and perhaps about each other too.

  • Ruth H.

    Thanks for the many great ideas! After reading your column, I will “gird my loins” and go to the coffee shop as well as spend time in the bookstore and magazine racks. I do talk to strangers, attend a study group and do some volunteering.
    As with many others, the holiday season at times is good and at other times, well another story. I don’t do the bar or hook-up type places; it is just not my style.
    Thanks again from Huntington Beach.

  • Cathy

    This was a really entertaining aricle. :)

  • K Waters, Lexington, SC

    What would we do without friends. One of the greatest ways I have made the most wonderful friends was through Church. It is a place where you can share your thoughts and feelings about Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made on our behalf. It is a place to serve and in return be served by others. My husband and I have moved several times during the past 15 years and each time we move we make sure to get involved in our Church. As a result we have so many friends that we have kept in touch with over the years.
    I would challenge those who are trying to find a place to fit in and develop wonderful friendships to get involved in a Church. It will change your life and the lives of those you are able to serve.


    HEY THANKS FOR THE IDEAS.CAN YOU USE ANOTHER FRIEND? MY EMAIL ADDRESS IS love to watch movies,like all kinds of music,i am a christian,and i’m knowledgeable,funny,a good listener and a wonderful talker.hey i figure this is a good a place as any.WE’RE HERE FOR A REASON.HUH?

  • Regina

    Hey ,i really liked this site .your right ,DONT be polite ,just start talking & if the other person talks ,you usually have something in common .i have 5 good friends ,& there are 3 that are becoming good friends on the internet & i will contact Dorcella that posted before me . i am 60 yrs old ,some days active some not ,like to exercise ,work outside ,not much on housework ,love to eat .i am 5ft.9in.tall & weigh 140 lbs. blond ,from a bottle .anyone who wants to can e mail me at ,Regina

  • Michael Dyer

    I thoroughly enjoy your column and enjoy reading whatever topic is chosen,,,,,,,,,,,,,, I’ll bet you’re just delightful in person

  • granny claire ;o)

    Well this is a neat way to meet ! I belong to so many online groups because I don’t go anywhere!! I’ve had breast cancer, organ transplants,kidney and pancreas, Eye surgery catarac’ and retina detachment, and depression oh what have I to be depressed about?? My salvation is the fact I understand the why’s and there for’s so I function quite well ,Even minus my right index toe ;O) AND THE MISSING BELLY BUTTON THAT VANISHED AFTER HERNIA SURGERY !! Well do I qualify in the my problems are worst then yours department?? I’ve gotten really into my genealogy this last year and met people in the UK and Canada and now I’m going for Polish border countrys ,Found out my Polish born granny was from Hungary !! lol Oh well any more like me around drop a line and speak a bit, TA TA G.C.

  • therapydoc

    Fantastic post.

  • Karen

    Hi. Great web site! Like you mentioned in your article, I have no friends… workers, sure, but no one to talk to in any meaningful way that lives close enough (DFW, TX) to see in person with any degree of regularity..
    I’m 56, divorced/single, 1 grown daughter, work full-time, have cats, dogs, hobbies:quilting, computer stuff, reading,art/museums, hockey/baseball, gardening:herbs,orchids,houseplants; diagnoised with pulmonary hypertension a yr. ago, trying to live my life with a hopeful, positive, grateful attitude with the help of a antidepressant and a bunch of other meds. I have lots of interests, well read, college degree….just would like/need a girlfriend or two.
    Thxs, Karen

  • berta tallabas

    While these are good methods just talking to someone does not make them a friend. I have learned that. A friend is someone you talk to often, visit, exchange gifts with, etc. You can talk to people all day long and go home at the end of the day as lonely as ever. Are you supposed to exchange phone numbers with all of these people?

  • Anonymous

    Great article. It can be difficult to create lasting friendships (or ANY friendships) when so much of busy daily life issues encroach. I went from a busy working wife to a stay-at-home-mom and saw how my circle basically evaporated. I will try some of these suggestions. Anyone looking for a pen pal can write me:

  • jshawkins

    Please don’t take this the wrong way cause really they are all great ideas. I would have never thought. But while I was reading them I started laughing uncontrollably(thats a very good thing when your down and lonely)because I thought man she was desperate. Ha Ha you sound like a great friend.

  • Victoria

    I’m 70, and about to retire from a job I have held for 18 years. I have a history of depression and am concerned about what I will do at home on a VERY limited income. Your suggestions struck a very positive chord with me. My first priority would be to get a dog (to me, the best friend anyone could have; I can take courses at the local Community College for FREE!; I love to attend conferences – not only do I usually learn something new and exciting, I meet others who feel the same way; I never thought I would go to Senior Center, but the food is usually pretty good and they have some terrific day trips where I can strike up conversations. I’m basically a pretty friendly person, a good listener and definitely in need of friends in my life.
    Thanks so much for your wisdom.

  • Shirley

    This is the first time i post a comment and i just had to do this after reading these 12 steps.
    Eight years ago i was considered shy not just a little shy but i was basically hiding from people and the best place to find friends are PenPals groups which i joined lots of them and i do mean lots of them.
    In one time i had over 20 Penpals groups ranging from all women to anyone even the over 30 yrs.
    I got my first penpal and best friend almost 8 yrs ago by joining one of those snail mail penpals group and this is the best thing to be yourself since most people would like to meet someone who’s not shy, yes i know i said not shy but writing letters/emails is so different then talking to someone face to face and even thought you’re shy you still can be yourself and they will love you and accept you as you are.
    For me to open up to someone face to face is impossible but writing letters/emails was better for me. Now i only have about 10 penpals and i write to all of them by hand, the old fashion way, and it’s the best way to meet someone.
    Before going to these places or getting a dog, which i’m allergic, i rather meet someone by writing/emails letters.
    Anyone who wants to be friends can reach me at

  • Linda from Virginia

    I think I fit right in, talk to alot of people, with results. Like chatting to grocery people, going to Bipolar groups, became a Master Gardener, gradute 2008. Starting taking chances. If there was someone I thought I’d get along with, just start in with whatever came to my mind. It has worked. Plus, still keep in contact with girlfriend in Ohio – she knows me since I went to 9th grade choir, 52 now. So she was able to defend me when everyone said I talk to much. She said she would be worried if I didn’t. Convinced my shrink and he agreed too. My husband said I was blabbin, must be manic. I said, no just felt good. No wonder we are getting divorced! I think if a friend treats you bad, dump them and move on to one that will be there at even 3:00 (a new friend)in the morning. That’s a true test, or 6:00 in the morning (my best friend). A true friend takes you in in an emergency, no questions except, what can I do. This divorce has been murder.
    Linda from Virginia

  • Patti in Orlando

    This is my first visit to the site. What interesting comments! I am among all of has just about crushed my spirit, but I try ….,would like to be a penpal/friend, as I am pretty much isolated, (or have myself insulated?) and would like to have someone to listen to, talk to. anybody? lonely? need someone? I’m here for you, and very kind and understanding….write me,

  • Carrie L Christensen

    Also I am a newbe at all this! This is MY problem, I can not drive(do to a one time seizure), I can not have a dog, I do not work do to arachnoiditis adhesions from so many surgeries from 2 pre-mature births(after 2 years my little girl died the day before I was to bring her home)she gave up her life so I could give birth to my son who is 16 and he was born 1lb 2oz 11 inches long has CP and after 23 surgeries is the best son any Mom could every wish for, I know I was born to be his mother!!!!, every part was removed because of the pain, my son, after 13 years of being divored wanted the perfect son so he wants knowing to do with us. I could go on and on, but to many tears are running down my face.

  • Susan

    I love your blog and admire what you write but I am so severely depressed (and LONELY) the things you suggest are impossible for me. I do talk to strangers when I am at the mall, but I have to use so much energy to appear normal (happy etc.) that’s all I can do. I don’t have any energy etc. to talk on the phone or meet with others.
    I take anti-depressants and see my (kind) psychiatrist once a week. Often people want to be my friend but it’s too much pressure to find the slightest bit of happy energy that people want to be around. It’s hard enough to not burden my family with my mood. My daily life includes trying to keep “fake-upbeat” for my senior mother (I live with) so I won’t ruin her life. Nobody would want to be around the ‘real’ me. I try to start every day new and have many hopes and dreams but life doesn’t always get better even if you try everything to overcome your problem.
    I must be on the bottom of the depression scale though, because your suggestions are great if you can do them. Thanks.

  • Carrie L Christensen

    Hi I just sent a comment so if you want to chat my email is

  • Bob Vermeers

    My experience has been that if you have something to say, say it. I have had excellent results just start talking to somebody on the bus. Of course, the opposite is also true: if you don’t have anything to say, shut up. I have had exactly one person brush me off in the several years I have been engaging people on the bus in my community. All the others seem to be greatful to have somebody talk to them. One of the most important elements of a good conversation is to have some knowledge of a subject and, even though I’m not particularly good at this, try to get a response from the person you are talking to. Out of the clear blue sky I once asked a lady on the bus if she had ever read a book and seen the movie based on the book. She answered that she had, and its name was “The English Patient”. I responded, “Aha! I hated that movie. Perhaps if I read the book I would get a lot out of the movie because my experience has been that the movie and book almost always complemented each other.” She agreed. I think I asked her how she like the movie and book and she answered that it was ok.

  • SUE

    Well, I had a wonderful laugh. I am 62 and single, divorced. It is so hard to make friends now. I have tried. Believe me, I have. The support groups are nice, but after a while the “doom and gloom” makes me feel worse. I don’t want to sit around and talk about how rotten the world treats me. I want to enjoy the world and my life dispite the turmoil and problems. After all, we only have one shot at it.
    I want you to know how much I enjoyed reading this column. I did get a good laugh. Thanks for your wonderful and refreshing insite.

  • shelley

    What’s wrong with AA?? I actually have been in a book club and I have to disagree that the discussions are more interesting!! LOL

  • hippiechick

    You all said some very sweet, endearing things. I never realized how many lonely people there are out there (I thought I was the only one). We could help each other out with concern and support. I feel like this could be a new movement, of people really caring about each other, because there is so much hate and violence in the world (I live in the Chicago area, and there have been a lot of unexplained, violent deaths lately).
    I was sitting here reading all the posts when I came across Dorcella’s. She was the first one I read who gave out her email address, and I suddenly realized we could all connect with each other.
    I am 48 years old, a single mother with 4 kids, (only one of which lives with me, the youngest, my son.) I really screwed up my life. I went through hell with 3 daughters (my mother’s famous words when I was growing up were, “When you get older, I hope you have a daughter exactly like you!”, and I got paid back TRIPLE!) I raised them practically by myself, even though their father was around. Then I got mixed up with a guy who turned out to be a total nutcase, a really handsome man who is screwed up in the head from his ex-wives cheating on him. All I did was knock on his door, and he called the cops and had me charged with disorderly conduct.
    Now I don’t even make enough money to pay my rent, and I have to pay a $406 fine for one case, $220 for the other case, $500 to a lawyer (because I got denied a public defender), and have to do 5 days of community service.
    I’m practically begging people to give me a second job. I have a part-time job, but it’s not enough.
    I also have congestive heart failure from sleeping in a cold bedroom of another apt. I lived in, and I am having cone biopsy surgery in December to help prevent me from getting cervical cancer.
    I have been involved with a man for over 12 years who stands me up all the time (especially on weekends), and he helps me pay bills, but he’d rather sleep in his car or in a doorway outside than with me (and he has a brain tumor).
    I’ve always been poor, and I don’t understand how poor people can be turned down for a public defender. I’ve never been able to get Section 8 (rental assistance), only received food stamps for a short time, and now I got a letter stating they want to kick me off the medical card (which I need to pay for my surgery). I mailed them copies of my income, but they want me to take off of work and sit there all day long so I can have a face-to-face interview with a caseworker. (I rarely ever take a day off of work.) Even though I don’t make very much money, I have the best boss in the whole world, and she keeps me employed even when I make mistakes. She gives me as much extra work as she can, but it’s a small company.
    I have heart palpitations sometimes when I’m laying in bed, and I keep wondering if one night, I’ll lay down to go to sleep and never wake up. I’ve always wanted to have a man sweep me off my feet, because I know how to do romantic and really nice things for other people, and I would like someone to do the same for me.
    If anyone would like to get in touch with me, my email address is:
    I got the email of the 12 things unexpectedly, and it is by far the best thing I’ve seen on the internet yet, especially the part that we can all post our heartfelt messages.

  • Kathleen

    Thanks for your suggestions! I actually look at people and speak to them in a grocery store and guess what? Everyone thinks I’m weird. I smile at everybody and I try to start conversations,usually get nothing. My few friends would tell you that I’m kind, generous,devoted,energetic,etc. I’ve been divorced for 10 years,10 years!!! I have only met guys at on line dating which I’m not doing anymore. Never has anyone ever bothered to fix me up. So, other than being probably 40 lbs. over weight, I’m in great shape.People are all so into themselves and their families(if they have them). Wish I could get lucky in Love or friendships!! KL

  • Bonnie

    I have found that when meeting new people, no matter what the situation, always ask them questions about themselves. Not really personal questions, but just general ones. If a person is talking about themselves, they usually have a tendency to be more talkative and friendly. Usually, they feel more comfortable and this is a good way to start a conversation. I also smile at everyone, as Kathleen does. Most people will smile back and even say hi! Good manners go a long way,as well. Many people are friendlier if they are treated courteously. I am lucky to have good friends, but as we all know to have good friends, one must be a good friend. Sometimes I wait to long to pick up a phone or e-mail or even send a thoughtful card. So when I start to feel lonely, I arrange a lunch date or just call someone to say hi!!

  • patricia

    Yes, i am one of those lonely people you spoke of in your text. I have 2 grown sons. and i have been a widow for 15 years now. I live alone in a nice neighboorhood, but have no friends at all. I speak to those people i see, and thats about it. I found my church about 4 years ago and really love the church, and have friends i see on sunday, and that about covers our friendship. My sons live near by but they dont visit much, they have their lives and wifes and etc. I really dont like living alone, but at 72, I dont look for a man in my life, although i do enjoy their company and will always look for that white knight to come one day.

  • Bonnie

    I felt sad when I read the comment posted by Patricia. Have you ever invited any of the people that you speak to in your neighborhood over for a cup of coffee or lunch? I am sure that they would like to spend some time with you! I thought that the suggestion to volunteer is a good one. Do you have a special talent that you might be able to share with others? Maybe you could volunteer at a local school. I teach elementary school and we love when seniors come to help us with the children. Children are wonderful for making us feel needed and loved and they always make us laugh!!

  • jaycee8765

    Very good suggestion for people that don’t have young kids. But how am I supposed to find time to take a class or volunteer when I have two young children at home? Also, do you have any tips on how to help my children make friends?

  • Laine

    You sounded manic, and needy, and funny and insane, and spontaneous, and kooky.
    And I can relate!
    I think the golden rule is true. So is the scripture of sowing and reaping. You have to make an investment to reap any rewards. I moved to NY and learned a lot of the things you wrote about on my own. And true, there were a lot of times that I was hurt by rejection. But if I hadn’t had the courage to take the first step in fighting my loneliness to meet new people, I would have missed out on some of the best experiences (both good and bad) of my life. We only have ONE SHOT at this life…no matter what happens, its up to us as to whether we’re gonna make it exciting or not. I choose to make it exciting! Thanks for the good advice. And for helping me relive some great opportunities that I’ve had in trying to make friends.

  • truckercatone ( Monica )

    hi my name is Monica and i am new to all of this posting. i have been reading this site for awhile because of my depression. i know what it is like to not have any friends, even as a kid i had no friends. but i grew up in a very very bad family life. i have had depression since before jr. high school along with add so everyone just thought i was stupid and i wasnt pretty and my mother didnt want me or anything to do with me so with all these stricks against me no one wanted any thing to do with the ugly stupid person. i am not ugly but you know how hurtful kids can be. my husband is a long haul trucker and is gone3 to 4 weeks and home 3 days. we moved to TN about 7 years ago and i thought i was makeing friends but not !!! these people just found someone new to take them here and there never any gas money or pick me this and that up at the store i will pay you on friday which never came. i would go get and get and go. but nothing in return and i was hurting for friends so bad i put up with it. one of the woman had an 18 mo. old who would tear my house apart and she would never get after him i would have to. then the sky fell out and we lost everything a house car and had to move to a rental on the other side of town. do you think anyone was there for me NO and after all i had done. my depression got worse and one person said if i didnt snap out of it they didnt want to hang around with someone who was mentally i know all to well what its like to not have friends b/c i dont thank you for listening

  • Sazzer

    I’ve thought about it often, being lonely – it is like part of the daily bread we pray for in the Lord’s prayer to me, companionship, friendship and people are part of daily bread for others. I had no choice but to move to a big town 6 years ago for work, it has been the most alone time in my life. Volunteer? Tried that, when you work, they are looking for volunteers mainly during the day. Neighbors? Everyone here is paranoid or involved in their lives I guess, for it seems there are none to meet. Men? Oh, I’ve met some that were smoozers, basically wanted my checkbook. I don’t know, but alone is much worse than anything I can seem to imagine, how is it God can create such a plan for a human being?

  • June Patton

    I go to all kinds of activities, volunteer, am elderly, and that makes a difference. I have 3 close friends. My neighbors are not friendly at all, so I go all day and help where I can and am tired enough at night. to just relax.I hold office in two organizations. Two men friends. one has Parkinsons Disease, and the other is short and bent over. I am 5 feet 8. So, where does that leave me?

  • Sybil

    A stranger is a friend you have not met. I love talking to strangers. Feel very comfortable sharing information and enjoy the moments. When i was in hospital waiting for my brain scans after a brain tumour, i found that there were a lot of patients feeling lonely without visitors during the visting hours. I found it is a great idea to visit such patients and who knows you may end up with a friend.

  • Sherry

    I have no affiliation with this website, but meetupdotcom is a website where people can meet others who share the same interests as them. I found out about it when I joined a local Ron Paul meetup group (the various presidential candidates are really popular meetup groups at the moment) – and I’m exploring other local meetup groups to join now as well. You could literally find a meetup group for any subject under the sun, and if you don’t – then you can start one yourself! It’s other people, just like yourself, who are looking to make a connection and perhaps make a few new friends as well – but you’ve got to take the first step and JOIN something or volunteer for a cause that means a lot to you! And I know from experience how hard that is to do… but look at it this way: What do you have to lose? Except for your depression – and that’s a GOOD thing!

  • Lettie

    I used to be very social.I have many friends, but I have isolated myself from them. I have not been feeling happy for many years and it’s hard to keep up a good front, infact I am tired of keeping up a front, yet I do it at work everyday. I just don’t want to be the one who is always sad or have some sad/negative things going on in their life all the time. I have a brother who is addicted to drugs, for some odd reason I was totally blind to this until a couple of years ago. My mother is in total denial of this and will not believe that he is responisble for everything this is coming up missing and that he is still using. I have been very depress about this situation. My mother and I, who used to be very close and are no-longer that close because I am not willing to act like there is nothing wrong and this breaks my heart. I know, I have no control over my mother or my brother’s actions,however, I do have control over how much I support my brother’s addiction and my mother, who support him. Perhaps my friends could help me through this, but I didn’t want to be around them to bring them down. I am currently looking for a support group and hopefully I will meet people who will understand what I am going through.I would like a friend who can relate to what I am going through right now.

  • Cathy

    I feel like the loneliest person in the world. I would like to have some women friends. I don’t work because of my bipolar disorder and I am on disability. I thought I would do some temp work, but you usually are not at a job long enough to culivate a friendship. I think of ways to meet people all of the time, but I can’t seem to get motivated. I feel isolated and this feeds my depression. I have had many “friends” in the past, but it seems I’ve had alot of people I thought were my friends were not friends at all, and I ended up getting hurt, and crawling back into my shell. I’m very friendly when I do get out of the house, (i.e., in the doctor’s office waiting rooms, but I’m too shy and insecure to initiate anything further. I just don’t understand how so many of you have the time or energy to be involved in so many activities. I spent some time recently in group therapy with some women who were dealing with PTSD. We all exchanged numbers and promised to stay in touch. I called one of the girls I felt I connected with, but she never returned my call. I enjoyed going to the group every day, just because it felt so good to be around other people, even though we sometimes had to deal with painful memories. I intend to e-mail the girls who posted their e-mail addresses, and would love to hear from some of you as well. I don’t check my e-mail very often, because I don’t have many e-mail partners. My life is so empty, and I just can’t seem to get into action. I think if I had people involved in my life, I would be much happier. I am a good friend to others and loyal. My e-mail address is

  • Missy

    This was histerical reading. Whomever the author is, are you sure we are not related? I too am a very bold woman. I am recently in the middle of a divorce. My soon to be ex-husband is the one with bipolar, anger & depression problems, and he is the one who initiated the divorce. It was done all in secret and behind my back. So your advise on support groups for me will be a great help. As far as him and anyone reading this with the same issues, they won’t get help themselves because they don’t think anything is wrong with them. You yourself(spouse,family member or friend of bipolar/depression person)
    have to take the initiative. Don’t wait for them to get the help you both need. Trust me,you need to be their friend 1st.

  • Anonymous

    This is one of the funniest, most honest and inspirational sites I have seen. I appreciate the forthrightness of the author of “12 Ways to Make Friends” in addressing so many facets of depression. The good news is that with all the humor-a wonderful sense to regain-is so much realism and TRUTH. I have regained my sense of humor and my life. I am thankful for my friends and family who stuck with me, even when I didn’t realize they were there for me. It was a long journey and I am so HAPPY to have made it here safely. I had to start listening and believing! A huge part of escaping depression is looking inside and allowing yourself to be you. Get rid of all the “should-have’s”. That time is past. Life starts now and it is good.

  • Wow!

    This article really strikes a chord with me. I can honestly say I have struggled with how to find “real” friends, people who really like me for me, for many years. When my divorce was final two years ago, as is often the case, I lost many “friends” as they were initially HIS friends. Now I realize they weren’t really true friends at all. I began to take a long, hard look as to why I didn’t have any friends. Am I hard to get along with? Am I an uninteresting person? Am I annoying to be with? And then it dawned on me. My mother doesn’t have any friends but rather “acquaintances.” My sisters do not have ANY friends, no one whom they like to spend time with or talk to. My nieces do not have any friends either! Woah…What has happened here? Clearly, females in my family have “learned” to seek friendships with other family members and not develop them elsewhere. Yikes! So I decided to do something about it. Last summer I went back to college, not only to finish my degree, but perhaps along the way find some real, meaningful friendships. It has been challenging but is starting to pay off. Second, I found a wonderful church that I attend, knowing I can always branch out into other church activities as time goes on. Afterall, I really DO have a desire to develop interesting, close friendships outside of my family and am finally on a positive path toward that goal. Thanks so much for a great article! It is helpful to know there are others experiencing similiar situations. Oh, by the way, want to be my friend? lol:)

  • Lindsay

    It is difficult for me to meet friends as well. I’m a 32 year old single mother of 3 who has a speech disorder called “spasmodic dysphonia”, bipolar disorder, social anxiety disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. I just moved to a new city to go back to school and it’s hard but my kids and I are actually very happy, but it would be nice to have some friends or even a friend.

  • donica

    i love music and am always singin and dancin sometimes im loud even rude and obnoxious but hey i love me and that is infectious. im myself but also aware of others,hot tempered but taking steps to stay sure stepped about me sometimes im unsure im not afraid to ask Questions,NEVER HIDE.

  • Anonymous

    We’ve been trying to find, make and keep friends for way longer then I care to remember and nothing has worked. People just walk in and out of other peoples lives, they might leave an impression, either good or bad and then go on their way. We have no family that bothers with us and it’s just us and the $$$ is very tight and health problems severly hamper what we can do. We’ve got friends in NJ, we’re in pa, and they are 10-12 yrs younger then myself and 25-23 yrs younger then hubby and that’s a problem for him. We just don’t know how to go about finding anybody to be friends with so we’ve stopped trying sad to say. Want to be my friend email is

  • Tracey

    I really enjoyed the article(I laughed all the way through) and enjoyed reading others messages(I thought I was the only loner out there)It feels good to know others are just like me! I havent had a friend in the world since I was about 16 and have never had a proper friend anyway(im 24 now) but now I feel I could be doing with one or two so I think I will give the volunteer work a go or take a night class maybe. This site has inspired me to go after my goals and dreams and not to be held back by my social anxiety or social phobia. Its time to have fun and start afresh!Cheers friends!

  • Ralph

    Interesting that in all those suggestions for finding a friend, you do not mention going to church. Some very fine people, who are also looking for friends, go there. No “bias” here, either. There’s a church out there for everyone, conservative, liberal, in-between, Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, Jewish, Islamic, Hindu, Unitarian-Universalist, New Age, and on and on. There are even atheist organizations if you are hung up about particular beliefs. Lots of them have volunteer projects, like holiday food baskets for the needy, cleaning up litter off the highways, or helping rescue missions, etc. Look for it, you’ll find it. Not a bad place to find a prospective marriage partner, too. A lot of churches have singles groups. Look in the Yellow Pages under churches. And they are friendly, too. They are looking for you! (Really) So get over that funk about being friendless. You’ll find many opportunities, if you just step out and do it!

  • SuzanneWA

    WOW = So many lonely women on this blog!! I wrote earlier, but was unaware that I could post my email address. Would LOVE to be YOUR friend. I’m a 59-year-old, twice-widowed, bipolar, mystery shopper, who answers surveys on the Internet. I’m on Social Security Disability, and do the above jobs just to keep my days occupied. I have a boyfriend (63 years old), who only visits on weekends, but that’s quite all right. If you read my posting above, you will know what kind of person I am. ANY stranger CAN/WILL become a friend; there’s nothing to it. Just put yourself out there. To the lonely onlies out there – I have a big ear just waiting to listen to you vent. I’m a quasi-counselor, having taken courses in Christian counseling, but never used the talent before now.
    If you want to connect with a REAL person, write:, and we’ll get together! I promise I’ll reply…

  • Sherry

    Great article! Great tips! I to giggled while reading it. I have to agree with Ralph in his posting of finding friends at a church. That can sometimes be a safe place to find friends or activities.
    I guess I am a lucky woman when it comes to friends. Even though I can count on 1 hand my close friends, and they now all live in other cities, with the closest being 1 hour away, 1 in Houston, 1 in Vegas and the other in south Missouri and me in NW MO. So we don’t get together much. But we are all a phone call or email away. These 4 people are the closest friends I have ever had in my life. I became good friends with them all in the same year, 1979, and even though they may no longer be close friends with each other, each of them are still close to me. I am now their only connection to each other. 1 is a man, strictly platonic, and I would have to say he is the best friend out of them all. We can talk about anything, have been through failed marriages, having babies, loosing loved ones, loosing jobs, and to many to mention other things together and through it all, our friendship shines. We know each others extended families and I am very close to them also. He and I just know that we could never be a “couple”. That is why we have remained as close as we have. Good, close trusting friendships are not found overnite. They develope over time, hard times, good times, all kinds of life changing times. My 4 buddies and I have ran the gammit together and we all would not change one thing about the other. We all except each other for who and what we are and what our life choises have been. We have picked each other up during ruff times, held each other when we needed to, and would be there at the drop of a hat when the chips are down. Going through my divorce put me into a terrible ugly depression and without these friendships, that out lasted the marriage, I don’t know what I would have done. I still have a long way to go, but I am getting there. I feel better today then I did 5 years ago when the divorce happened, and I have come along way in healing from it. But my outlook is bright, my esteem is up, and I am starting a brand new job, in a completely different field then what I have worked in before, tomorrow. I know I will make new friends at this new place of employment, I will learn new things and my old buddies will be there to support me and encourage me each step of the way. I am truly blessed with my friends and I treasure each moment we get to spend together, with them all living other places it sometimes isn’t to often that we get to meet face to face. So we have the phone and email to keep in touch. I have found that to find a friend and to keep a friend takes a lot of hard work, but believe me, when I look at my pictures of all of us, yes from back in 79 when all 4 of us hung out, I still smile and know that it takes being a friend in order to keep a friend. I’m glad I was given the opportunity to meet these 4 wonderful beings and that they are still a part of my life. I was truly blessed!

  • Barbara

    Regardless of what some of us do to make friends, we must be careful not to think that all who are in our circle are friends. Acquaintences is a better word, I think, because friendships take time and energy. I have done most of the things mentioned, and at a younger age, they all worked. When moving from Ohio to California, I jumped in to the social scene, and wasn’t still for a moment. Slowly friends moved, married, and other life events were encountered and the real friendships stayed via mail and email and phone calls. But some friendships were short encounters along my pathway. Memories are all that remain, sweet that they are.
    I moved to Holland in 1997 to marry my Dutch beau. I had to learn a new language, and after years of college and a Masters Degree, I wasn’t too happy about being back in school at age 59. I made few friends because I couldn’t never grasp the languge fluently. I have two friends from Holland that I love dearly, but alas, we moved to California, so here I go again. Trying to re-establish the older friendships and to develop new ones.
    I call Holland weekly and write weekly (one doesn’t use the phone, hearing loss); I send notes to those I’m thinking of whenever I’m thinking of them regardless of what holiday or event it might or might not be. I’m now ill, with undetermined heart condition and have no energy. I sleep most of the day, but I do crawl out twice a week for a couple of hours to volunteer at local hospital. Why? To keep up a basis for friendships and connection. I expect nothing from any of my friends, but do give as much as I can to them to ease their day and to keep the friendship alive.
    I’m lonely at times, disappointed that I have less energy but at 70 am glad that I formed earlier friendships, have later ones and still am open to newer ones. None are similar to the ones of earlier youth; the older developed ones have a different “flavor”. But all are delightful. The friendships remain, the acquaintences float in and out. Isn’t life grand?



  • niki

    I have a good postive changes this year than ever. First, I decide to stop of having around negative people this year. Last year, I have a bad year of having more problems with my own no good relatives and less inactive so-called friends. I was listening bad advices from other people rather than my own. One day, I was stopped by a counseling center at another town. I was talking about my own situations with two women. Trust me. I was having a mental breakthrough from my own self. The lady said that I was resembling her as a walking baggage with other people. She was trying to say that I was letting myself get trap with bad group of people. She gave me some step of avoiding them from my life with new self cofidence. I decided to isolate myself with fake people in my own life. I was started to work with a new inner me. I didn’t want to tell my old fake people my new living arrangement. I am getting back of exploring my old hobbies. I have a new people in my life whose respected as for me. NO more of sitting in self pity of misery among people. I am a big happy person again in years.

  • niki

    and I am proud of it.

  • oneofakind

    I have problems that I can share with some or maybe any people who are willing to listen, but most of my problems can’t be published out loud, and they keep pressing like a stone on my chest. I have a hard time finding people who are in the same situation and to whom I could disclose myself, because probably they too feel awkward or insecure about sharing their burdens with other people. Therefore I have to mostly rely on family (and shrinks, if at all possible), but usually family is too much involved, and it would be nice to find some other unbiased people with diferent opinions than that of your own folks. And I’m married too, but that’s in fact part of the problem.

  • Tammera

    Hello…I saw your beyond the blue videos on you tube and commented…Hang in there…your b-day is right around the corner!!! and mine and my daughter’s also…Thank you for sharing your life and ideas…you are a wonderful inspiration.
    I also wanted to share this really cool idea for people looking for ways to find things to do and like minded friends to share with.
    It is called “” and just about anything you can imagine as far as your interests should be there. I have felt the isolation also and reccently found that there is so much going on in my area as far as my interest…it is unbelievable.
    Vegetarian groups. Knitting groups. Book groups. Tea meetups. Movie meetups. Dining out meetups. Just about anything you can imagine can be found at and the truly neat thing is you can search by the area you live in and get started just as soon as you get the courage!! Cheers and Happy Birthday Terese….you are truly a joy!!! Tammera59

  • Bridgett Marie Olszewski

    I’m a nice preson to be around I don’t smock or drink! I love to have lots of fun and I love shopping at all stores. I also love going to the movies I love watching all kinds of movies!

  • Donna

    How would I use an HTML tag for style. I’d like to know that! I’m in college after eighteen (18) years being out of school. Maybe 19 yrs. I could never make friends. I still can’t! People just don’t like me. I think it might have something to do with the fact that I come-off a bit odd. I have Bipolar disorder for one. Then I have ADHD for another. I get compliments on my looks but that makes or keeps no one as a friend. I think they just pity me or something. The fact that I was on the wrong medicine and undiagnosed and untreated for ADHD all my life leaves behind me a bad history which affected everyone in my life. I’m on all the right meds. now and they still fear being around me. As for any new people in my life…I think they see me as a bit weird; especially the twenty (20) year old students I go to school with. I’m forty (40) years old, that makes me old enough to be their moms. I try to talk to strangers but I only attract people weirder than me. I think I’m just doomed to be friendless:(

  • Marlene

    I really liked your article on how to meet people. I am very lonely. My mom passed away on Feb. 11, 2006, my husband passed awayon Feb. 14 2006 and my dad passed away on Mar. 9, 2007. It has been a very lonely 2 years. I do not like my job and I have to drive 80 miles a day to get there. With gas going up sometimes I wonder if I am going to be able to afford it any longer. Anyway I do have some friends but they have their own families and they do not always have time for me. I live in a rural area and it is hard to find places to go to meet friends. I really enjoy summer. I like working in my flowers and just being outside.

  • Valerie in Dayton, OH

    Hi! I loved reading this! It is me through and through. I’ve tried meeting friends, but most people just don’t have the time or even want a new friend.
    The best friend I have right now, I met thru a yahoo group called Clutter_Bugs. LOL I’m in OH and she is in CA. A little too far to visit. But, she is there for me and understands my problems. She has some of them too. She has been a blessing.
    Therese, we really sound a lot alike in personalities. Most of the time it counts against me.
    Well, I wish everyone good friends and blessings!
    Sincerely, Valerie in Dayton, OH

  • Karen Beebe

    What great writing style, I just gobbled it up. I have a badminton group…I rent a space in a gym once a week and text my friends in the middle of the week to make sure they are coming. I get them to bring one food item and we come here to my home to eat after. The hardest day of the week to be alone is now the one I look forward to.

  • Ronald

    Hi,it sounds so easy, just haven,t been able to open up, like some can
    Ronnie In N.C.

  • Nee Nee

    Oh I just loved reading this…..It is amazing how when you have a passion for people and then you reach out and encourage others to do the same, you are the one who is Blessed!!! I belong to a chronic pain support group and Im the one who encourages others to use our support group to build friendships. I just did this, this morning, and sent out an e-mail saying exactly what you just said. Gosh I really feel I am on the right track and feel very blessed for doing so. At first I thot I shouldnt….but I felt a strong pull in my heart to send the email. Thanks for the confirmation. People with pain should not suffer alone. Reach out :)
    Nee Nee

  • Becky

    Hi all,
    It was really helpful reading the above emails. I moved to SC almost 2 years ago after living overseas for 8 years and have not made the first friend. My husband and I both retired to a state we have never lived in before after losing our retirement house in Florida thanks to FEMA. We were very depressed and foolishing bought a house on line. It is so strange that the people are really friendly here on the surface but everyone seems to have their cliches and no one wants to be real friends. I am getting ready to move again just because of this reason. My husband and I have been going through a deep depression due to retiring and moving here and I thought making some friends would help me to pull out of it. Instead I went in deeper after I joined a bible study and within a few meetings no one would take the time to tell me where the meetings where. They write and let me know when they are having a party where they want me to buy something but everything else they tend to forget me. I am trying very hard to get out of this depression and start taking care of myself again as I have gained weight as well. It helped so see other people are having as hard a time as I am. My gardening is the only thing that has made me happy in the last 2 years. Thanks all for sharing your thoughts and allowing me to share mine. Becky

  • Connie

    It is horrible when you have been living in a certain state for years then move and feel really alone because the people around you are
    not really friendly or don’t like you because you are white and
    speak English and they don’t!

  • Barbara Rebold

    My husband became ill and he wanted to move to Oklahoma where he had built a fishing cabin for “the guys”. The change has been very unsettling for me. I consider myself a city girl. I like sidewalks and having a library close (not 20 miles away). I joined a quilting group to meet people. I stayed with it for 2 years. I figured if I didn’t feel like I belonged by then I never would. I just stay here in the backwoods and sew. I don’t like walking country roads, so I walk around the bar in the kitchen for 20 minutes each day. I forgot to mention my husband passed away less than a year after we moved. I am glad he was able to spend as much time here as he did. He wanted me to stay here thinking that I liked it as much as he did. After selling our home, I am now a citizen of Oklahoma. There are many days I have a pity party. I do think they are getting fewer and I am not eating as much Ice Cream. Hang in and maybe some day we will be considered the old folks instead of the foreigners from up north. I for got to mention I have 1 almost friend.

  • Molly

    To all the folks whose comments I read – please do not fret. I know its difficult to make friends out in your world. I am from India and the people out here are friendlier. In fact sometimes it bothers me cause people out here are inquisitive and ask you so many questions.
    I felt sad when I read about Becky-all out by herself in some woods and being treated like an outsider despite the fact that she is one of you guys. Hmmmmm- life is strange.
    Becky if you want to communicate with me – please do.
    In the meanwhile do not despair – everything works out in the end.
    One of the important things to do is to WRITE DOWN what it is that you really want and then go and do it = God helps those who move their feet.
    Take care
    PS: I am also a widow aged 58 –

  • Kathy

    I have been on Disability from teaching for 5 yrs. It is sooooo darn hard to meet people anywhere, and everyone is busy with their own lives. I’m an outgoing,congenial lady. Recently, I have gone back to school and it has given me a whole new set of great people to connect with,so that helps.

  • KEN Sanders

    I have been widowed for 4 years after 30 years of marriage it seems that the so call friends slowly drift away but one i was in bad shaped and called a pond the LORD and prayed and it seem nothing happened but i became more friendly and the so call friends still did not want associate but i said i am not going to let them shun me so i stared to going more to church so they would face me and some did finally start being more friendly but decided to put my trust in the LORD and he has been my best friend and savior my childern have been wonderful but i like seeing people my on age i have dog and she senses when i am lonely and she will curle at feet and stay people that have never experienced this will have big bang when it hits them but i try to express my feeling with orther widows and widowor i know it is hard but i try to make the frist move to be a friend and have a listening ear i do not let people decide for me but i all way put ny hand out frist shake theres and if they donot like it i just go on and may i might make another persons a little brighter day

  • Michelle

    Great article. I am slow to make friends only because 5 years ago my friend ran away with my husband. Well, I got over that because I found me a great guy. But due to our job I had to move to a new state. It took me 2 years to make a friend….now I had to move again. At least this time we moved close to family…so I am not as alone as I was before.
    But still, it is hard.

  • Bonnie1958

    I agree with every one of your “steps”, in fact, you sound alot like me! LOL! Tact is definitely not one of my virtues! I don’t think I’ll ever be up for the “Mother-of-the-Year” award either, as I sometimes embarrass my daughters by telling them things like, “You’re going to go gray ‘down there’ when you get older.”, or practically everything my mother would never have said aloud. We watched the film “Forest Gump” together years ago, and I mentioned where I was and what I was doing during each event that took place in “Forest’s” life. Ever since then, they think I’m an old hippie, even though I’m not old enough to be one (I’m 49), just old enough to have been a “flower child”. I know that some of the comments that come flying out of my mouth at inappropriate times, would have been better off had I just swallowed them, but hey, some people might be enlightened enough to think we are “quirky-chic”.

  • Jaymie

    I have been totally disabled now for 3 years after 3 failed back surgeries. I am 42, and had worked my way up in a company for 15 years until I was a Project Manager. I had many “friends” at work, a great husband, 5 kids, and never once felt alone. I was always too busy working 60 hours, going to school, and taking care of my family. I now have no job, a worthless Bachelor’s degree, and all of my work friends have disappeared in order to maintain their busy lives. My kids are all adults with the exception of my baby, and he is 15. Needless to say, he doesn’t want me around too much. My husband workds, is successful, and has many friends. He has basically gone on to live his own life because he is not physically challenged as I am.
    So, I fit the profile to a T, and am still struggling to find my way.
    Lancaster, CA

  • Frank

    Make friends by expressing something good about a stranger. It scares the hell out of them. High entertainment value…
    Caution: Be sure you mean it though…

  • Mary Anne

    To Jaymie in Lancaster! Hey you just made a NEW friend by posting what you did. I TOO am disabled due to my degerative disc disease in my back. My husband got tired of my crying and pain and abandoned me last Oct. 2 wks before our Anniversary. I am going through a painful Divorce now and like you am not able to do much. I am on strong pain med’s for chronic pain and I bet you understand me when I say that the PHYSICAL disability causes Mental/Emotional problems. It has for me! I would love to chat with you personally. Feel free to email me, your new friend in Texas. MaryAnne

  • yv1soul

    Thank you, thank you thank you.. I thought that i was the only one who was feeling this way. I am 50 (mar 27), teach in a Catholic school, am on vacation withoout my 16 year old, that’s another story, and am beond blue!!1 I am always afraid to reach out for fear of rejection; the internet isn’t so scary and I am thrilled to see that there are others who feel like I do.
    I am going to try some of the things you suggested, to make friends. No i am an not in therapy right now, but I know that I need it.
    But this is the beginning and I will reach out for a support group for the things that are prevalent in my life that are causing me “agita” sure I spelled it wrong (lol).
    Monday, I go to the library to see about a book club and scholarships for single women who need a Masters.. oh the internet!!!

  • Cheryl Darnell

    This was a great article!
    Here’s what I can share about Depression:
    I experience it as a selfish jealous entity that wants to seperate you from all succor, God and Man and God-in-Man. It’s a lonely being itself that wants its victims to suffer along, and when I open up and let air and light and contact in it shrivels and whimpers piteously; still we must not let it feed upon our souls.
    If you have such thoughts and read an opening up article such as this and don’t allow yourself to respond, Depression wins a point.

  • TA

    It is refreshing to know others go through “lonely” periods of life and to know your not alone! I’m a 40 something and have never had a serious relationship.I’m single, live with an aging parent at this point in my life.And while I love my mother she sucks the life out of me even when i didn’t live with her. I lost my roommate last Aug to cancer and she and i while we had our separate lives did things together on the weekend and I MISS that more than I can say. I am blessed to have WONDERFUL christian friends from my church, and Blessed to have great sisters, however, they ALL have their own families and lives. I want that but I also know that the grass is always greener on the other side. I was grief stucken when my friend asked me to move out and then died and in a sense I still am. Oh well..
    It’s just hard! TA

  • Rayna

    First, I have to say that this article about 12 ways to find friends is HILARIOUS!
    I sat here reading this this morning and almost fell off my chair a few times!
    Second, I met an incredible person online about 10 years years ago, when I first moved into my first home (as a single woman who works from home – that is REALLY isolating).
    We met at an online Writer’s Group chat room, and for the next good 8 years, we wrote and IM’d each other every day. He turned out to be a friend, a mentor, a confidant, a ROCK when I was really depressed (or high – I am bipolar.) We talk on the phone still occasionally – this man helped me grow up – I can honestly say that he’s the person in the world that knows me the best. And we have never met face to face! He lives in CA and I live in Canada.
    So you see, it’s very possible to banish loneliness with an online friend. And when your self esteem goes up – as it can within this relationship – you find the impetus to move out of your isolation and into the world outside your door.
    But one note of warning – BE very careful at the start – there are perverts and weirdos galore out there in cyberspace who pose as princes and will deplete your bank account by promising you a cruise (or worse!) and they seem to have mutated and spread like a noxious fungus. Maybe I was incredibly lucky to meet this guy, but I did go to a group I had common interests with (writing) and that helps.
    Has anyone else met a friend online?

  • Leslie

    I was married 21 yrs to a controlling, verbally abusive husband. My girls are 22 and 24. I met a nice guy while going thru the divorce and eventually sold my house and moved in with him. Now I am living with him and as soon as I moved in, his son, 14 yrs old, has decided that he is going to live here. In a controlling relationship it is hard to keep friends as they are not welcomed by the partner. Now I am finding that my time is spent with my boyfriends children, him and his ex-wife. It is very hard to make or meet new friends in this situation. I feel like an outsider at his childrens functions. He tries to make me feel comfortable, but that is hard to do with the ex
    there. I spend time with my girls sometimes but they are getting on with their lives and enjoying their friends – that makes me happy. It is hard to find time to meet new people. I work full time. I have taken night classes and that is enriching, but those people are rushed with their lives also and there are a lot of younger people taking night classes. So I keep real busy, but don’t have any close friends, just a lot of casual aquaintences. Sometimes I just feel lonely and depressed.

  • Monna Sparks

    If anyone out there wants a friend – I would like to be your friend. I am 60 Years old, live near Daytona Beach, FL. Originally I am from Ohio – all my family is there. I get really lonely, I am married to my husband who is 10 years older than me – and we don’t do anything together, except eat meals together when I cook every day. EAvery night he goes fishing with his buddies, except on Wed. he goes with his buddies to play cards. I have 2 dogs who give me attention. But I miss people alot. I work part time – I enjoy that (being around people) – but the other days of the week are really lonely. I enjoy people – I am a giver, not a “taker”. Let me know if you want a friend.

  • annie54

    Thank you so much for all of these valuable tips. Just this past weekend I attended a festival of sorts with several different single girlfriends each night. We literally “put ourselves out there”. It was hard at first, but we just started talking to fellas and we ended up having so much fun, and making some new friends.It is so hard to meet new people, especially in rural areas. But, thank you. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your advice.

  • Betty

    I’ve been widowed for 3 years after 34 years of marriage, and most of the people who were ‘our’ friends no longer visit me. Sometimes it is difficult, but I find that staying involved in church activities, and volunteering for various community organizations keeps me busy. I do feel alone sometimes, and lonely at other times. Have not found that ‘great’ guy yet!

  • J.

    Reading all these heartfelt posts makes me realize how many of us truly feel alone and lonely at times. The saying about some people and friends is true: some come and stay awhile, some pass through, and some stay forever. In my own life, I have two TRUE friends out-of-state I know I can depend on, regardless of when I need them, I know they’ll be here for me. My experience has usually shown the more you get to know somebody, the more they’ll usually end up wanting something from you. I’ve had long-term friends, I perceived as my friends, who weren’t; they hurt my feelings and crushed my heart and probably didn’t even care! I always believe you have to step forward very cautiously in a friendship … some will come and stay awhile, some will pass through quickly, and if you’re lucky – some will stay forever …

  • Gail

    I live in Texas. We live way back inthe country. My husband works all the time,so I’m very lonely and deppressed. Did I mention that he willnot go anywhere with me.It is very hard for me to make friends,I don’t knowwhy. I tend to stay at home and isolate myself Gail

  • Marilyn Matho

    Just a comment: You can thank Society, Health Groups, and Power Crazy busy bodies for the lack of Social Skills of today. By requesting the smoking ban is when everyone separated into their own friends. Little by little everyone went into their own shells because no one wanted to be bothered. You can carry a gun, you can now be gay-lesbian, have children out of wedlock and wonder why there are no values or respect to even be bothered with a friend. Society has not improved at all in fact Society is dummer then ever.
    Thank You to all of the Physicologists!!!



  • Annie

    For all of you who have no friends, email me, “Annie” at shoehill on yahoo com. I am honest, I listen well, and can be a good friend. Also, I would like to make friends too. Let’s talk. Hope to hear from you VERY soon. Tell me your story, I’ll tell you mine. I won’t leave, I’ll stay for awhile and maybe forever! Put beliefnet friends in the subject line so I am sure to get the email. Lovingly, your friend, Annie The email address is scrambled a little in case this message post won’t allow it. just remember I am on yahoo and my name is shoehill. Annie

  • karina_b

    One thing I have noticed…It’s very hard to make friends once you’re in your thirties if don’t have kids. Either friends that you did have vanish once they have children, or women are so busy with their children they don’t have time for you, or they just don’t want friends without children. They make friends with the mothers of their kids friends, because it’s more convenient. Lots of women who have kids only want to talk about kids when you meet them, or love to put you down in subtle ways: mention a book you’ve read or a movie you’ve seen and you get the “Oh, I wish I had time to go to a movie.” As though you are utterly frivolous for having done so…
    If you are a woman of any age, marital status, with kids or without, you might want to check out joining the Junior League, if your town has one. You can met all sorts of women there, from career woman to stay at home moms, and you’ll be doing some good, Contrary to reputation, you don’t have to be wealthy or snobby to get in.

  • Maree

    All the methods of meeting friends, are OK, if you are not someone who nobody wants as a friend ie. Disabled, overweight, and therefore poorly dressed, unemployed, not married, no kids, no social life, and therefore nothing in common with ANYBODY, so conversation comes very quickly to a standstill. Nobody likes a person who has no conversation, the long silences are too embarrassing and it is major hard work to have to provide ALL the conversation. I have been alone and lonely since I became disabled 12 years ago, I lost my jobs, therefore most of my opportunities for a social life, my hobbies I cannot pursue because I am no longer physically capable of dancing well enough to be accepted in that group, my other 2 hobbies were solo ones, but iI have neither the manual dexterity, nor the stamina to pursue them. I have learnt that no social group wants someone who can offer them absolutely NOTHING. To be accepted as a member of an established club or a social group you have to have something that they want…A skill, or something that you personally can do well, that nobody else in the group wants to do, be free with your money, or a great personality so that people just love to have you around. Since I offer none of these prerequisites, I no longer try to join social groups, particularly since a disabled person is seen as a liability…what do you do with them when the rest of the group wants to do something physically active?
    Yes, I could join a social group for disabled people, but, I do not want, as yet, to be confined to playing Bingo, or chatting about somebody else’s grandchildren, nor do I want to have only losers as friends ( like attracts like, and a man is known by the company he keeps) so how do i meet people who I would like to have as friends?

  • Linda

    I’m from Chicago and moved to a small town 400 miles from home to start college – I’m 48 – I ALWAYS felt like an outsider. After five years I received my degree but never made any friends.
    Statements I hated to hear when I needed comfort:
    It will get better
    Maybe it wasn’t meant to be
    You’ll get over it
    You need to . . . (fill in)
    It’s for the best
    None of these made me feel any better – as a matter of fact they made me feel worse – confirming I was a loser.

  • claire

    I live a supposedly friendly 55+ senior retirement community in Texas. However, it is not friendly anymore; it seemed to be at first. But then many people moved here from all over the country and formed “cliques” from each of their own states, setting up state clubs. Older women seem to act just as they did in high school by forming groups (Red Hats, clubs, etc.) and then inviting only their friends and keeping others out. It is very lonely here for me. My husband has recently had serious surgery and is homebound, so we cannot travel, eat out, or go to movies anymore. We have no relatives close by who come to visit. My stress level is quite high without any friends or anyone to talk with, and I am worried about my husband’s health constantly. I am 67 years old and he is 74, and we once had an active life, but no more. It is very difficult to get older and alone. I read, knit, and watch Netflix movies and TV, but that’s about it.

  • Jay

    “Yes, I could join a social group for disabled people, but, I do not want, as yet, to be confined to playing Bingo, or chatting about somebody else’s grandchildren, nor do I want to have only losers as friends ( like attracts like, and a man is known by the company he keeps) so how do i meet people who I would like to have as friends?”
    Maybe one of the reasons you have so few friends is that they’re put off by your judgmental and self-pitying attitude. If you yourself claim you have nothing to offer in relationships, why would anyone disbelieve you?
    Maybe you should spend less time avoiding “losers” and start interacting with people with an open mind. In any case, you do know the saying “beggars can’t be choosers”, right?

  • Unknown Author

    One day a man walked up to his old friends cabin, a day after a very long weekend. He asked his old friend, if he had any arrows, so he could go hunting. The old friend smiled, yes, I made a few extra, I could spare, so the old friend traded arrows for his friends game, he’d caught at the end of the day…awhile, went by, days that is and the deals went on with trading one comodity for the other; until, one day the hunter went to his friends and his friend replied, there’s no more arrows I will make, my freezers full. So the story goes, without discipline, perserverance, and
    service…there could never be more a gift to give than yourselfs needs first to being a friend, when in need, give thanksgiving, often praise, and always pray.

  • elizabeth tress

    Hello, i am here if anyone is lonely and would like an email friend, i reecently moved to another state, and i can not seem to comect with anyone, i do have my daughter living with us and that helps, and my sons are only 2 hours away, but i need someone to chat with Lonely Libby in Penna

  • Shell

    I came across these emails by Therese today. I have read through a couple already and I have to say I do love her sense of humor! She seems a little warped….just like me! lol!! I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2001 and nearly died before anyone could help me. I fell into a serious depression at that time. Because of my physical/mental health problems I had to quit work. It has been hard for me to get used to being home, away from all the friends I worked with and any possibility of meeting new people. I liked her tips, but now that I have been out of the social scene (except for family) for so long, I find it hard to think about joining a new group. I feel a little socially inept, I guess. Plus, with my illness, I never know how I am going to feel from day to day. I am a little cautious about becoming friends with someone, then not being able to keep up with activities with them. Even if I enjoy being with them, I may not feel up to doing whatever it is they want/need me to do with them. I feel I might not be able to be there for them in the way I would want to be. Does that make sense to anyone out there? I have been checking into local volunteering options too, but same story. What if they come to rely on me, then, I cannot fulfill my obligations to them? I do not want to be a liability rather than a blessing. Yet, I DO WANT to make friends, help others, participate in groups, etc. That’s one thing I love about the internet…it’s here anytime I feel up to it…yet, the people on the other side of it do not count on me being here at any certain time in case I am having a bad day.

  • shari

    I have been in abusive marriage for 7 years.With help of my ex hus. family I excape the cage. No friends,loneenss the bi9ghest challange of my life is how to make good real friends.

  • kristy

    ok i’m 27 years old, i know i am young, you would think it would be easy for me to make new friends, but it is not. I have been brought up in a dysfunctional home, with a single parent who was a addict, and i did’nt know until 2 years ago, and then she died. i pretty much raised myself, i ended up in foster care, did drugs, got our of that, went back to school, but i kept meeting the wrong kind of people. i’ve had abusive realtionships, and whether it’s a boyfriend, or a girlfriend, i always seem to attract addicts into my life or drama queens who betray you in the end. so i don’t trust myself at times, let alone anyone else and i don’t know how to change this. I mean what is it about me that i attract these people( freudian thinking yea i attract people like my parents) but you are’nt just about your own gentics and epxeriences. I am in college, i take classes, i volunteer, i have gone online, i own a cat, i attend a support group, i do talk to strangers, and i have tried to talk to neighbours, but no one is open to more than small chat, and i can’t come up with interesting topics to start or maintain a conversation maybe cause i am afraid of being judged.. i don’t know i just can’t open up and be real, i am closed off, and it’s all superficial, about the volunteer job, the class assignment, and at the end of the day i come home alone to my cottage.. and i wonder what happened to me, i use to be able to make new friends so easily… so why can’t i do it now.. i mean how do i overcome this barier.. anyone know? I’m at a loss for answers.

  • Marie

    I use to think I was the only person experiencing this. I’m glad I stumbled on this site because now I know that I’m not alone in this circumstance. I’m 25, and not the type anyone would think suffers from loneliness or depression. On the contrary, everyone thinks I have this great life, but the truth is that I had to move from Fla all the way to NY because my family is such a disaster. Its sad that I choose to live a lonely life because my family is so dysfunctional… but I was lonely & depressed even when I was living at home. My mom has always been emotionally distant…in fact I’ve never felt loved by either of my parents (I haven’t spoken to my dad in years).
    When I moved here I thought it would be easy to meet people, but 2yrs later I still have no one. My only friend is alcohol! I still talk on the phone with friends from home but its not the same. They think I’m not trying hard enough to make friends. I can’t admit to them that I’m lonely because it seems like theres a social stigma attached to being lonley (like only weirdo’s are lonely). So I just pretend.
    I’m getting to a point where I’m wondering if I’ll be lonely all my life. I try, but its hard to make friends…after all I live in NYC. I have a better chance of getting robbed than making a new acquaintance.
    I’m a little embarrassed that when I do meet people, I’ll have to admit that I’m lonely. Not everyone sympathizes with that…I feel like in NYC people look down on that. Maybe everyone is pretending just like I am?

  • Margie

    I am the kind of person that doesn’t open up easily to anyone, but If I perceive that someone is genuine and would listen or I can listen to without feeling uncomfortable, I would be more open. I wouldn’t like to meet just any friend, I would like to meet an honest person that would accept me the way I am and with whom I have something in common. I believe that a healthy and helpful way to be is by being yourself, being honest, and not being focus on yourself, your problems, your loneliness, your fears, but rather enjoying your everyday activities and giving yourself to others. Many people feel lonely and we don’t know it. Maybe through listening and showing interest in someone else’s life we could enrich our own lives and help others. Learning to enjoy your own company, reading, meditating, writing, listening to music, dancing, gardening, playing and caring for your pet, is very helpful, I have been many days of my life lonely and instead of resorting to unhealthy ways of dealing with it, learning to enjoy being with myself has helped me tremendously.

  • gloria

    Being shy and feeling like you’re not good enough to make
    friends with ‘that other group over there’ makes a very lonely life . It’s bad enough to be lonely when you are alone, but to be lonely in a room full of people is horrible! This might sound funny, but have you ever watched MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING on television? If not, watch it. I used to be shy. To the extreme I think. I had to push myself and you know what? It worked! I thought, ‘they aren’t any better than I am so what am I so shy about’. Church helps a whole lot, believe me! Joining a sunday school class or a circle or a youth group. Even if you just sit there and listen the first few times, you’ll soon find yourself talking up a storm and having fun.
    Don’t despair, God is always there! Pick your head up, say to yourself ‘I can do this’ and jump right in and do it. (YOU’RE THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN) Good luck! It worked for me and I think it will for you too.

  • ginger

    I am 54 yrs old. My husband has chased all my friends away with his attitude. I am very lonely and sad. But, I do have friends and know they are there. I really feel caught between a rock and a hard place. Not to mention, Yes I am very depressed. At my age it’s hard to find a companion and it’s also hard to choose between a husband or friends. My friends are friends but, they have there own lives. At our age we have grown kids and grandkids. Dang, I make myself sad! Mostly I try not to think about it. So thanks Beyondblue I can relate.

  • Anonymous

    I so know the feeling of being alone. I am 20 years old and have no friends and haven’t had. I don’t know why GOD wants me to be alone. I get so upset. I have never had a girlfriend for more than a day. What is wrong with me sometimes I don’t want to be here, if only I wasn’t alone.
    Fred (Friscofan65@AOL.COM

  • Denise

    I am 54yrs old and for the past few days I’ve been feeling lost. I come from NYC and have lived in Missouri for 30yrs. I amd married and my children are grown with their own families. I do hear from them but I have learned not to burden them with my issues. My husband does not understand me when I’m going through these spells, I seem to withdraw so bad I can hardly stand myself at times. I have friends but I don’t hear from them when I need someone to help me out of this mood. Sometimes I do feel like if I died no one would miss me and I would feel a lot better. I have reached out for help, I have a therapist and psychiatrist. I hate taking the meds all the time because they do make me feel some what better, but when I get like this…I really don’t know what to do. Could you please be my comfort, my life support I feel like I’m drowning.

  • Rock

    I am 56 years old and it’s a comfort to me to read how many of you have experienced what I have in feeling lonely and not able to make friends and connect with people. I wonder if something is wrong with me and all I can come up with is that I am serious and love to talk about ideas and I don’t think many people like to do this. I can joke too but I am not good at small talk as I see little point in it. I am drawn to people who are different and also people in crisis because often people will open up and think more about ultimate questions when life is difficult. Do any of you relate to this?


    I enjoyed reading this blog. I am 48 and everyday I experience this sense that I am not where I am supposed to be.
    I have two kids that I love for all the world. My husband always acts curteous to me.
    But it feels like we are from two different worlds. We discussed having a party for his 50th birthday and within a week his sister wrote that she had it scheduled. I can’t help resenting his family. They react so fast to my own kids lives that for awhile I really thought they were trying to drive me away. I don’t know if it is logical but I have come to beleive that he uses people to help discourage me and dimenish my ability to mother my kids.
    I actually fell apart for awhile. Our neighbors labeled me bipolar. I see a psychiatrist and we are in marriage counseling but part of me feels like he is doing it for show. I am a wreck emotionally even though everything is intact physically.
    I feel like the angels I get are giving me advice that hurts my kids or my biological family. I would love some sound heaven sent advice.

  • Mim

    I moved with my family to a new town. A person I thought was a good friend lives here too. Our daughters have been friends since preschool. I talked to her everyday on the phone. I thought our friendship was fine. I moved and she changes. She won’t come visit. At first she introduced me to her friends, but then she started acting odd when my daughter got along with one of her friends daughters and we had her over to play. She not only began to exclude us, if I called her she would tell me of the fun times her kids had just had with other kids she’d had over while my daughter sat alone. She came over twice. Both times incredibly late with no apology. I began to feel very scared and uncomfortable. We attended her church in this new town and I tried my best to make a good impression. I tried to invite her daughter over for a playdate but no, they were too busy with others. Then a couple of days ago I sent her an email asking what was the matter. She finally confesses to me that due to a falling out from a long time ago which “broke her heart and the hearts of her girls” she is afraid this will happen again and she just can’t trust me. I email her back that I wish she had told me how she was feeling a long time ago. We moved in June and from talking to her she was happy and ready to play. I anticipated a fun summer and what we got was sad confusion.
    I invited others over for my daughter to play with from the town, close by luckily, that we had moved from but I was sad. I wish she had been honest with me. I have a feeling that she was becoming jealous of me being in her world. Her daughter was diagnosed with asperger’s syndrome this summer and I am thinking it is hard to see my daughter, her friend, grow alongside her daughter. They have been friends since they were 3 but the asperger’s is more pronounced now with a change in voice and weight etc. Funny though, on one of her two visits to my house she happily perused my deceased mothers artwork portfolio with the hope of finding the match to the etching I had given her for Christmas. Apparently my fine art doesn’t bother her, just me. If I didn’t like someone, I would not accept her deceased mother’s artwork. I smell a rat and want nothing more to do with her but I feel a bit ashamed and duped. Like I let myself fall for something stupid and I should have known better. I trusted her a bit more because she was a christian. Thanks for listening.

  • happily remarried

    Maggie Mae,
    As I read your story, I feel as though you are writing mine. Or atleast the one I had. I was married for 20 yrs,3 children, and all the rest that goes with a good life. EXCEPT, my in-laws where in my life and family tooooo much,, I am sure they felt they were helping but they where diminishing me as my childrens mother and my husband would not say anything to back them off. Not that it was done to my face, but surely was behind my back. I never did my kids birthdays or my husbands since his mother always insisted she would do it under the disguise of being helpful to me since I was always tired. I never was asked where we would go for summer vacation, just told when it would be and that his mother had taken care of all the arrangements. I could go on but you get the picture. We went to counseling also and my husband would charm them and I was told that I was the one with the problem. I didn’t understand that statement at the time and would get even angrier that I was not being heard. My emotions where always high and cried at the drop of any unkind word. To make a long story shorter..I was told by my Dr,since my mother in law was very strong willed, to take her to lunch and lay out what I was feeling and ask her to let me have my family back, and she was to follow my rules about how my children where to be raised. I could not do this since my self-esteem was in the toilet from years of not speaking up. I had lost my voice. I realized that I was the one who let it happen and I was the only one that could fix it. I put my ducks in order and divorced. It has been 10 years now, children are grown and gone and they all understand why I had to do it. I did get the opportunity to tell my mother in law she had a lot to do with my decision and now that I don’t have to be quiet and take it any longer I don’t.
    So my advice to you is to find your voice and tell them you want your family back. You need to tell them you are capable of doing parties and wish they didn’t just take over all the time. You need to do this to get your self esteem back and to feel good about yourself again because you took a stand and took your life back on your terms. I wish you luck and wellness,it will help you tremendously to feel you do have a say and real power when it comes to your life and how you want it to go..
    ps as my mother always told me,,get mad (name),,that they are making feel invisible. Your husband just might like the new you, once you decide that people can no longer push you around. Make your wishes known in no uncertain terms.

  • Very Lonley in Rancho Cordova

    I moved here 10 years ago, married my wonderful husband after landing in Reno and thought everything was going to be great.. Boy was I wrong! One year later I came down with this terible Cronic Pain which to this day has crippled me bed 24/7… After living here in California now for almost 11 years now I have no friends because I can’t leave the house unless it’s to go to the doctors office..
    Car rides are very painful, sitting in chairs and even standing up for longer than 5 minutes I just can’t do.. I lay in bed trying to think of ways to make friends and there just is no way in my situation… We joined a church years ago but stopped going becasue I can’t sit in the car plus I can’t sit through the sermon.
    The doctors have tried everything and bacially have come up with nothing. This is my life and I have to deal with it.
    If anyone out there can come up with a way where I can make friends in such a large state I sure would like to know…
    I have a feeling that there are others out there like me but there stuck in there homes just like me.. It’s to bad we all don’t have a place to get together a few times a month in each town..

  • Cherie

    I joined a support group for chrisrians that is set up very much like the secular format of AA but it incorporates the bible and Jesus Christ into the studies as well. It is called Celebrate Recovery and it has been around for 18 years. It has womens groups and mens groups and it is for anyone with addictions, hurts, and/or hang-ups which they are trying to overcome. This group has truly been a miricle in my life and my little group of 9 women has become a sisterhood in faith and truly helped to change my life. I encourage anyone seeking a support group that is based on scripture and accepts any problem one may be facing ; to seek out one of these meekings. Don’t quit before the miricle happens!!! Praise Jesus.
    God Bless,

  • Kim Ruckman

    Hello :D, I was looking for this type of article, mostly for a friend at but I also needed it. Excellent advice and very funny too. Thank you very much. Kim-aka Mama Bear {Felicity}

  • margie murray

    Thank you for your 10 tips to making friends. I have been very sad and lonely due to the fact that I was married to a man I didn’t know after 15 years of marriage we are divoricing. Not only am I getting divorce but I had to move away from my dear friends. In the new area I have no friends and no one to talk to on a daily basis my co-workers do not socialize or talk to each other they just work. Nothing more no parties or get togethers like I was use too in the past. I have a huge family but they all have their own lives and do not include me or my son in their activities. Its great to know that there are other people lonely like me and you have given me ideas as to how to find a friend. I am so glad I went onto that web site it brighten my day now its just getting the courage to go to these places and try to be accepted. Thank you

  • Connie

    EXCELLENT ideas….Some had already occurred to me (book group, alumni, play group) and I have quite a wide circle of friends since moving to a new city 6 years ago. But I intend to use some of your suggestions to keep the circle widening….

  • Terrie

    Therese, I have a funny story to tell you about our dog, Holly, a golden retriever/chow mix.
    My husband and I used to walk her around the edges of the Naval Academy campus – down along the rocks and the water, across the bridge linking the athletic fields, onto the little beach where she could swim and honor the dead in the cemetery, etc.
    Well, one day during summer break Michael decided to parade Holly through the central campus and enjoy the beautiful architecture. Unfortunately, the many trees, rhododendrons, and azaleas were full of squirrels and bunnies that just didn’t exist in our three-story condo. Before Michael could stop her, Holly had dug a 3-foot deep hole under a bush right outside the Academy’s Chapel. To his horror, the Head of the Academy and his wife were out for their daily constitutional, walking arm in arm straight toward the Chapel. Before Michael could jump behind a bush or bury the dog in the large hole she had just dug for herself, Mrs. Head of the Academy stopped, looked at both the hole and the happy dog covered in mud from face to paws, and drew up to full height in all the glory of her position. She then looked down her nose at Michael, sniffed in the direction of Holly, and said, “THIS IS WHY WE DON’T ALLOW DOGS ON THE GROUNDS OF THE UNITED STATES NAVAL ACADEMY.” Then, taking her husband’s arm, the two of them continued their walk toward the Officer’s Club for Sunday brunch, leaving Michael to scoop mounds of dirt back into the hole with his hands and feet.
    Luckily, he did not shove the dog in the hole first. Nor would he let me sneak back ongrounds that night and t.p. their house. I guess this isn’t really an example of how to make new friends, but it sure made me glad that I had adopted such a character of a dog!

  • sandra weisz

    Hi Theresa, thank you for writing me and for these ideas. my home town turned in to a dangerous horrible very unamerican scary place, so i have to leave , as i have nothing in common with these criminals. and i feel scared all the time. it is so corrupt. thank God there are still part s of the country that are America. i was hoping there really was an adult chapter of mean cousins, because that’s what i have. lol. they are rich , mean, and i never get invited. maybe i’ll move to the east coast since calif. is a ruined place for me. sandy. p .s. i will miss seeing Borchard st. off the ventura fwy tho……

  • Shari

    I had just read an article from a guiy having a hard time making friends? very intresting. anyway,I sometimes have a hard time too with that. i’m vision impaired, and often wish that I had more driving friendds to take me places and stuff. plus a little jealousy invovled. i’ve been vision impaired since birth, but now I do get out and take buses and cabs and stuf fliek that. i’m independant,but often with I was in a fully sighted persn’s shoes wher eI can jsut go anywhere I want to, go to concerts whatever, but it’s hard to do that since i’m vision imparied, but I try not to let it get to me.I had an experence last year when I started an argument with an email pal of mine, and We almost ended out friendship. all because I was jealous because I didn’t go to see a faverite singer of ours as much as she and her kids did, but than a week and a half later, I calmed myself down, and became honest with her and told her the truth. i started that argument and she confided to me that her childeren do come first which is true. family does come first in the picture. well god first, than family part of me still looks back on that fight, and part of that jealousy might still be inside of me, but I don’t show it like I did last year. I do normally understand that everyone gets busy to email, or talk on the phone whatever.. and now with this girl and I we are still good friends again, but now i’m use to her not emailing me right away. because I too have my own problems to deal with and with god’s help i’m working on dealing with issues that I myself need to work on. it’s still taking some time, but I can do it. I just have to work on it more and for the better. give it a chance with god’s help. any replies on this is welcome.

  • sherry

    It is hard for me to make friends. When I do meet someone, they don’t want to see me go anywhere,jealous,full of drama,etc. So, I stay to myself. I do get lonely sometimes,but I rather be lonely then to be around two face people.I would at least find one true friend.

  • Marla

    I have been divorced for over 15 years… I have two daughters one 17 and one 20 with a daughter of her own. They live with me. My oldest boyfriend does as well. I have tried to have relationships over the years, but they never lasted more than a year of two.
    Now I am 52 and they are just about out of the house, or at least I don’t have to drive then around any longer, but most of my girl friends are married, so there is no one to go anywhere with. When I do go out it is to the local lounge for dancing, not the place to meet people, but there isn’t anywhere else to go. We are a small town…
    I have a good job, but even so there are days that I have trouble getting up and going to work. It has been this way for a while, I don’t want to use medication but I also don’t like me this way, I use to be fun.
    Reading what others what written have helped me, knowing that I am not alone in my feeling is a relief. May this help others to know the same… My life has not always been like this and who knows, a year from now… it probably won’t be like this then either.

  • Debbie Alexander

    A great way to meet new people and make friends is to join a church.

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